Producing Vitriol in Hyūga Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Producing Vitriol in Hyūga Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Polishing-sand of Iga Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #325

About This Print

One of 118 prints in the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)issued in August 1877 to coincide with the opening of Japan’s first National Industrial Exposition (Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) held in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. 

Hyūga (日向国; Hyūga no kuni) was an old province of Japan on the east coast of Kyūshū, corresponding to the modern Miyazaki Prefecture. Hyūga bordered on Bungo, Higo, Ōsumi, and Satsuma Provinces. The ancient capital was near Saito.1

The following description is provided in an 1878-1879 geological survey2 which discusses the author's tour of copper mines throughout Japan.  ".. [B]lister copper  is made with roasting in kilns and smelting in small hearths in the old Japanese style; and blue vitriol (copper sulfate) is manufactured with roasting, leaching, boiling down and crystallizing."  The fourth Kanji character  (counting from the right) in the title means "vitriol."

1 Wikipedia website
2 Geological survey of Japan: Reports of progress for 1878 and 1879 By Benjamin Smith Lyman, p.21.

Transcription of Scroll

Source: with thanks to Yajifun

Producing Vitriol in Hyūga Province 日州緑磐製之圖

“緑礬ハ山谷より?石(ハンセキ)を堀出し則ち白きは明礬となし其色青きを粉になして水をそゝぎ??(フハイ 腐廃 腐敗)したるを伺ひて是を釜に入てせんじその泡をとりて乾したるものなり 上等は紺手と呼(トナヘ)て薬用となし下等ハ浅黄手と呼て染汁に用ゆ”

Multiple Editions (Variant Printings)

At least three variant printings (editions) were made of this series.  Each variant printing uses a different colored cartouche containing the series' title, either red, green or rainbow-colored.  Different colored borders were also used and variances in the use of colors and shading are present in the three editions. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Producing Vitriol in Hyūga Province 日向緑礬製之図
 Dai Nippon Bussan Zue 大日本物産図会 (Products of Greater Japan)
 Artist  Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842–1894)
 Signature 廣重筆 Hiroshige hitsu in bottom right margin (partially trimmed on this print)
 Seal  none
 Publication Date 1877 (Meiji 10)
 Publisher Ōkura Magobei 大倉孫兵衛 (Kin'eido; 1843-1921) [Marks: pub. ref. 627]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - vertical centerfold from binding in small book; green ink offset left corner of image
 Genre nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper
 6 7/8 x 9 1/4 in. (17.5 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Hagi Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum Urakami system U02970; The National Institute of Japanese Literature Archives & Collections 37T/058