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Air and Water from an untitled series on the Natural Sciences

Picture of Mitsui Group's Western-style Three Story House at Surugacho, Tokyo

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Air and Water

from an untitled series on the Natural Sciences

attributed to the school of Utagawa Kuniteru II, 1873

Picture of Mitsui Group's Western-style Three Story House at Surugacho, Tokyo


IHL Cat. #2311

About This Print

One of possibly five prints from a series of color woodblock educational prints covering various aspects of the natural sciences issued in 1873 by the Ministry of Education (文部省 Monbushō). This print discusses the basic properties of air and water and was issued with two differing texts, as detailed below. 

Using simple illustrations, the top scene shows a child's wonderment as a fan creates wind to move the box on the go board as he learns that "wind is air" and the bottom print shows an even younger child watching the ripples created in the tub of water by the stirring stick. 

This print was issued with two different texts, as shown below. Writing for the the website Dictionaries & Beyond Word-Wise Web, Karasawa Ruriko 唐澤 るり子 tells that the text appearing on this collection's print is edited from Chapter 2 of Yukichi Fukuzawa's 福澤諭吉 (1835-1901) Kunmō Kyūri zukai 訓蒙窮理図解 (Illustrations of Natural Science), published in 1868, in which Yukichi distills the scientific knowledge he gained from books in England and the U.S.1 

 
This collection's print
 
Another state of the print

1 website Dictionaries & Beyond: Word-Wise Web (Sanseidō Co., Ltd.) https://dictionary.sanseido-publ.co.jp/column/mono15

Transcriptions of Text for Both Prints

This Collection's Print


Source: National Museum of Japanese History ARC AcNo. H-22-1-22-64
「陸地の物一ツとして空気の包まざるはなし 猶海河の物一ツとして水の浸さゝることなきかことし 故に西洋の学者世界を空気の海と号けたり たとへに図の如く空気を激して風を起すは水を攪乱して波を起すと同じ 人の呼吸するは空気を吸ひ空気を吐く者にて 是亦魚の水を呑み水を吐くと異なることなきなり」


Alternate Text on Another State of this Print

Source: University of Tsukuba Library https://www.tulips.tsukuba.ac.jp/exhibition/Ibuki/nisikie/79.html
「西洋の学者世界を空気の海と/号けたり海河の物一ツとして水の浸ひた/さゞるはなく陸地の物一ツとして空/気の包まざるはなし気を扇て/風の起るは水を擾みだして波立と同/じ人の呼吸いきするは空気を吸ひ/空気を吐く者にて魚の水を呑/み水を吐くと異なることなし魚は/水と離るれは死し人は空気/と離るれば死す空気なければ/禽獣草木も生を保つ事能はず/空気は色なき物の如くな/れども其性青し天の青きは/空気の重なるゆゑ也水も深/淵は青くこれを器に盛れは/色なきが如し」 

Ministry of Education Full-Color Woodblock Prints
The newly formed Ministry of Education issued full-color woodblock prints for childhood and adult education between 1873 and 1885.  In addition to prints issued by the Ministry, color woodblock educational prints were also issued by private publishers, such as those of the series Brocade Pictures for Moral Education (錦絵修身談 Nishiki-e shūshindan), a collaborative effort of the artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), his students and the Tokyo publishing house Fukyūsha, issued in 1883 and 1884.

For more information on the color woodblock prints issued by the Ministry of Education see the article Educational Color Woodblock Prints (issued by the Ministry of Education) on this site.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #2311
 Title or Description  Air and Water 空気と水
 Series  untitled series on the natural sciences
 Artist  Utagawa Kuniteru II (1830-1874) [attributed to the school of]
 Signature  unsigned but attributed to the school of Utagawa Kuniteru II 
 Seal of Artist  none
 Publication Date
 1873
 Publisher  Ministry of Education (Monbushō 文部省)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  poor - extensive wormage; right and bottom margins trimmed to image
 Genre  ukiyo-e; kyōiku nishiki-e [full-color educational prints]
 Miscellaneous    
 Format  oban
 H x W Paper 
 13 15/16 x 8 7/8 in. (35.4 x 22.5 cm)
 H x W Image  13 1/4 x 8 11/16 in. (33.7 x 22.1 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
University of Tsukuba library http://www.tulips.tsukuba.ac.jp/lib/ja/collection/rare-kyoiku-nishikie; National Diet Library Call Number 本別9-25; National Museum of Japanese History ARC AcNo. H-22-1-22-64
last revision:
6/31/2021 created

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