Bleaching Fabric on the Snow in Echigo Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Bleaching Fabric on the Snow in Echigo Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Iron Works in Etchu Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #366

IHL Cat. #1490

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.

The ancient technique of snow-bleaching in the final stage of the creation of Echigo-jofu (a fine-as-silk ramie weaving) is still in use today. Exposing the fabric to snow "makes use of the bleaching effect from ozone produced when snow evaporates in the sun. The wisdom of ancestors has been passed on through this method that removes excess dye, loosens snarls in the threads, and gives the cloth a light, soft finishing touch."1

Photo copied from

  Photo copied from
http://japanupclose.web-japan.org/culture/20150323_1.html

Echigo (越後国, Echigo no kuni) was an old province in north-central Japan, on the Sea of Japan side, northernmost part of the Hokurikudō (北陸道)) Circuit. It bordered on Uzen, Iwashiro, Kōzuke, Shinano, and Etchū Provinces. Today the area is part of Niigata Prefecture, which also includes the island which was the old Sado Province.2

1 http://japanupclose.web-japan.org/culture/20150323_1.html
2 Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echigo_Province

Transcription of Scroll

Source: with thanks to Yajifun http://yajifun.tumblr.com/

Bleaching Fabric on the Snow in Echigo Province 越後國雪中布晒之図

“縮(チゞミ)ハ越後国柏嵜小千谷千手塩沢十日町よりいだす物ハ縞或ハ紺がすりにて島堀辺ハ白縮を専らとし下谷辺にて荢麻(マヲ)を多く養ふ 荢麻ハ麻に似てその葉 桐のごとし 夏刈とつて皮を剥 石灰と稲灰のあくにてさらし煎て細に破き紡?(ヨリ)をかけて布に織り晒屋にわたす さらしや又灰汁にてさらし降積雪に敷かさね雪にうづミてさらすゆゑに白きことゆきのことし”

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
 #366 and #1490
 Title or Description  Bleaching Fabric on the Snow in Echigo Province 越後國雪中布晒之図
 Series
 Dai Nippon Bussan Zue 大日本物産図会 (Products of Greater Japan)
 Artist  Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842–1894)
 Signature  IHL Cat. #366: no signature visible
 IHL Cat. #1490: 廣重筆 Hiroshige hitsu in right margin [mostly trimmed from 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  IHL Cat. #366: good
 IHL Cat. #1490: good
 Colors  IHL Cat. #366: excellent
 IHL Cat. #1490: excellent
 Condition  IHL Cat. #366: good - vertical centerfold
 IHL Cat. #1490: good - vertical centerfold reinforced verso; small paper losses top and bottom of centerfold; remnants of backing left and right margins verso
 Genre  nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  chuban
 H x W Paper
 IHL Cat. #366: 6 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (17.5 x 23.8 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1490: 6 13/16 x 9 3/8 in. ( (17.4 x 24.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #366: 6 3/8 x 9 in. (16.2 x 22.9 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1490: 6 3/8 x 9 in. (16.2 x 22.9 cm)
 Literature

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