Making Sōmen in Noto Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Making Sōmen in Noto Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Mackerel Fishing at Night in Noto Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #1501

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. It depicts the making of sōmen, very thin, white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour.

Sōmen was introduced to Japan from China during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and were originally made at Zen monasteries.  In the mid-1400s "sōmen production requiring certain techniques and skill and a wide space, transferred from Zen monasteries to other artisans, marking the birth of the sōmen industry."1


Noto Province (能登国 Noto no kuni) was an old province in the area that is today the northern part of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan, including the Noto Peninsula (Noto hantō) which is surrounded by the Sea of Japan. It was sometimes called Nōshū (能州). Noto bordered on Etchū and Kaga provinces.2


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
 #1501
 Title or Description Making Sōmen in Noto Province
 能登素麺製造ノ図  Noto sōmen seizō no 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 (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 good
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - vertical centerfold reinforced by tape verso
 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 8 15/16 in. (16.2 x 22.7 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Library; Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University Library; Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History 
Comments