Shipping Ice from Hakodate, Hokkaidō from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Shipping Ice from Hakodate, Hokkaidō

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

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


IHL Cat. #1479

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 portrays people in Western-style garments cutting ice from the moat around Goryōkaku fort near Hakodate on the island of Hokkaidō, from where it was shipped, insulated with sawdust, to Yokohama, Tokyo and other southern destinations.  The ice would be held in storage until the summer months when it would fetch the highest prices. Production and transportation of natural water ice first succeeded in 1869.


"These workers are shown cutting ice near Goryokaku in 1877.
The photograph looks south towards the city of Hakodate nestled against the base of Mt. Hakodate."
Source: Hokkaido: A History of Ethnic Transition and Development on Japan's Northern Island, Ann B. Irish, McFarland & Co, 2009, p. 106.

Hakodate, located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaidō, developed as a port town for trade with foreign countries at the end of the 19th century. From December 4, 1868 to June 27, 1869 the Goryōkaku fort was the site of the Battle of Hakodate fought between the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate army, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the armies of the newly formed Imperial government. This was the final battle in the Boshin War. 

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.

Transcription and Translation of Scroll

Source and notes from National Institutes for the Humanities
日本物産図会 三代目歌川広重 1877年

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  北海道 函館  人名その他:氷 台車 鋸[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  北海道 函館  人名その他:氷 台車 鋸

Scroll:
「氷は厳寒の節北海道五稜岳の堀水の氷たるを鋸を以て凡七目方二十〆目ばかりに引わり 二個合して雪車に乗せ 函館湊を運転なし 大鋸屑にて覆ひ箱に入れ密封して 横浜東京その外諸国へ輸出して氷蔵に納め 暑中にいだして販売す

Source of translation: Picturing Westernization and Modernization: A Woodblock Print Collection from Late 19th Century Japan, Izumi Koide, June 16, 2006

In the middle of winter when it is colder, ice in the moat of Goryōkaku is sawed into cubes of about 20 kan (75 kg); two of them are loaded on a sleigh and carried to the port of Hakodate, where they are packed in a box with sawdust and shipped to Yokohama, Tokyo, and other foreign places before being put in a freezer. In summer they are pulled out and sold.


PowerPoint Presentation Notes from 1-31-2017 Presentation

Shipping Ice from Hakodate, Hokkaidō, Coal Mining in Iga Province and Silkworm Culture in Hitachi Province from the series Products of Greater Japan, 1877

This series of 118 prints depicts various economic activities throughout Japan. Its release coincided with the opening of Japan’s First National Industrial Exposition held in Tokyo’s Ueno Park in August 1877. The show’s exhibits, collected from across Japan, were categorized into six groups - mining and metallurgy, manufactures, fine art, machinery, agriculture, and horticulture. Nearly half a million visitors attended during its 3 month run and four more exhibitions were to follow. These fairs were modeled after Western industrial exhibitions and provided “a meeting place for Western technologies and their Japanese counterparts.”
National Diet Library website http://www.ndl.go.jp/exposition/e/s1/naikoku1.html


These three prints are from a series of 118 prints depicting various economic activities throughout Japan. The prints were big sellers both during and after the First National Industrial Exposition held in Tokyo’s Ueno Park in August 1877, while the Satsuma Rebellion raged 600 miles southwest of the capital. The prints were sold individually and also bound into books for sale. Nearly half a million visitors attended the exposition during its 3 month run and four more exhibitions were to follow.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1479
 Title or Description Shipping Ice from Hakodate, Hokkaidō 
 北海道函館氷輸出
 Hokkaidō Hakodate kōri yushutsu 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 [almost completely 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 excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - centerfold
 Genre nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper 
 6 3/4 x 9 3/8 in. (17.1 x 23.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 9 1/16 in. (16.2 x 23 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 2008.014.004; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  2000.292; National Museum of Japanese History H-22-1-30-7-18

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