Fishing for Flatfish in Wakasa Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Fishing for Flatfish in Wakasa Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Making Steamed Flatfish in Wakasa Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)


IHL Cat. #1485

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, depicting fishermen netting flatfish in Wakasa Bay.

Wakasa was famous for the flatfish caught in their offshore waters which were considered a winter delicacy. Wakasa flatfish were often steamed in salt water and then dried, as shown in the print Steaming Flatfish in Wakasa Province (IHL Cat. #1487).

Wakasa Province (若狭国 Wakasa no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area that is today southern Fukui Prefecture. It is also known as Jakushū (若州) or Reinan (嶺南).  The province's ancient capital was at Obama, which continued to be the main castle town through the Edo period.  Wakasa bordered on Echizen, Ōmi, Tamba, Tango, and Yamashiro Provinces.1

The artist based many of his designs on the designs that appeared in the 1799 book Nihon Sankai Meisan Zue (Famous Sea and Land Products in Japan), leaving some question whether everything Hiroshige III portrayed in the series was truly the "state of the art" in 1877 when the series was issued. (Although for many activities pictured, things would have looked much the same in 1877 as in 1799.) In many cases, the information in the scroll is also copied from the earlier work.

click on image to enlarge
若狭 鰈
Illustration of netting flatfish in Wakasa from Nihon Sankai Meisan Zue (Famous Sea and Land Products in Japan), 1799

Multiple Editions (Variant Printings)

At least three variant printings (editions) were made of this series.  Each variant printing uses a different colored cartouche for 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.  

Transcription of Scroll
Source: National Institutes for the Humanities

Notes:
[備考]中判 横 錦絵   画工:歌川広重3  版元:大倉孫兵衛   主題内容:産業・技術 物産絵  若狭 越前 敦賀 敦賀  人名その他:帆船 綱 鰈 蟹 

Scroll:
「若狭越前敦賀等の漁人三十石船に十二三人乗組 船の左右にわかれ帆を横につけ其力をかりて綱を曵けり 海の深さ四五十尋なる処にアハを水上にうかべ 岩を落して綱を広め水底にあそぶ鰈を捕る也 綱中雑交たるもの蟹多くして甚大いなり

1 Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakasa_Province

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1485
 Title or Description Fishing for Flatfish in Wakasa Province
 若狭国鰈を取図 Wakasa no kuni karei oto zu
 Series
 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 (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 good
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - vertical centerfold reinforced by tape on verso; minor marks and soiling
 Genre nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper 
 6 13/16 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 9 in.  (16.2 x 22.9 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Library Archives 01_04265_0002; National Institutes for the Humanities H-22-1-30-7-21

Comments