White Sugar Production in Sanuki Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

White Sugar Production in Sanuki Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Making Sanbon Sugar in Sanuki Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #541

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 workers refining white sugar in Sanuki province.  Sanuki (讃岐国,) was an old province of Japan on the island of Shikoku, with the same boundaries as modern Kagawa Prefecture. It faced the Inland Sea and bordered on Awa and Iyo Provinces. Across Naruto strait it bordered Awaji Province too.  Basil Hall Chamberlin, British Japanologist, in his 1907 Handbook for Travellers in Japan, notes that "The chief production of this province of Sanuki are popularly known as ‘the three white things’ (sam-paku), viz, salt, sugar, and cotton.  The sugar industry is modern, having been introduced from Satsuma only half a century ago."1  But he also describes scenes more like the one pictured above, to wit:
The cultivation of the rich plain includes indigo and sugar; and those curious in such matters will find establishments here and there where sugar-refining is carried on with very primitive machinery.2

Transcription of Scroll

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

White Sugar Production in Sanuki Province 讃岐國白糖製造ノ図

“夫甘蔗を培養する地ハ伊勢尾張駿河紀伊阿波土佐肥前讃岐薩广朩也 就中さぬきの白 薩广の黒糖ハ國中第一とす 甘蔗ハ蜀黍に似てその長サ一丈余あり 立冬乃ころ種蔗をふせて春日移植シ冬至る折採り牛に引せて石車にて搾る 甘蔗二百五十目一日搾るを二人の業とす” 

 ※夫=それ 朩=等 广=摩

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. 

1  Handbook for Travellers in Japan Including the Whole Empire from Saghalien to Formosa, Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. B. Mason, John Murray, London, 1907, p. 432.
2 Ibid.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  White Sugar Production in Sanuki Province 讃岐国白糖製造之図
 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 - partially separated at vertical center fold and repaired verso
 Genre  nishiki-e; kaika-e
 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 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)

 Collections This Print
 The Kyushu University Museum Digital Archive