Slate Pencil Making in Bizen Okayama from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Slate Pencil Making in Bizen Okayama

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Catching Sea Otter in Chishima Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)
IHL Cat. #590

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 unloading, cutting and hand carving of the limestone used to make slate pencils (kyosha).  A merchant in a western-style hat is seen purchasing the pencils.  After the beginning of the Meiji Era, the demand for slate pencils for use in primary schools increased. 

Bizen Province (備前国, Bizen-no kuni) was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture.  Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces.  Bizen's original center was in the modern city of Okayama. From an early time Bizen was one of Japan's main centers for sword smithing.


The Lodi Sentinel - Jul 31, 1917


Transcription of Scroll

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

Slate Pencil Making in Bizen Okayama 備前岡山石筆製圖

“當國和気郡伊部近傍の山中より産する土石ハその質堅剛にして白色なり これを挽わり石筆に製するに殆と舶來の品と比しきを以て専らこれを用ゆ 依て多く之を製造して諸國へ輸出なすといふ”

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
 #590
 Title or Description  Slate Pencil Making in Bizen Okayama
(Bizen Okayama sekihitsu sei zu 備前岡山石筆製図)
 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  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - vertical center fold.
 Genre  nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  chuban
 H x W Paper
 6 7/8 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
The Kyushu University Museum Digital Archive
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