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Landscape at Nerima Ward #73 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Pond at Zenpukuji Temple in Suginami #79 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Landscape at Nerima Ward (#73)

from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo

in the Showa Era

by Kishio Koizumi, 1935

Gōtokuji Temple in Setagaya Ward #42 from the series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era

IHL Cat. #974

About This Print

Number seventy-three of the one hundred prints that make up the series Showa dai Tokyo hyakuzue (One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo During Showa).  Koizumi started this series in 1928 and completed it twelve years later in 1940. In this print, Koizumi pictures a farming couple at work pickling daikon, giant radishes. Najima was once famous for its daikon and the takuan pickles produced by the local farmers.

For more information on this series see "The Series - One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo During Showa (Showa dai Tokyo hyakuzue)" under the artist's biography.

Artist's Annotation

Source: MIT Visualizing Cultures website http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/tokyo_modern_02/annotation.html 

In 1940, Koizumi created woodblock print charts containing print titles, dates, and comments for this series.  His comment for this print follows:

“Daikon of Nerima have been renowned from thetime they were presented as gifts to the shogun. The priest Takuan introduced arecipe for pickling these radishes. So they became even more famous.”

Nerima Ward Today

Source: website http://act-eco.net/2011/my-region-and-my-school/index.html

"More than 710,000 residents are living in the area of 48.16 km2. Nerima ward is one of densely populated areas, about 14,000/km2, in Tokyo. (Density of Bangkok is 5801/km2, 3300/km2 of Warsaw, 10630-/km2 of New York). While Nerima was very famous for the production of Nerima daikon radish that was mainly served for pickling a few decades ago, it provides 40% of cabbage grown in Tokyo now. However in Nerima, there are only 87 full-time farmers and about 350 farmers with side jobs.
The most famous of the daikons of Edo is the Nerima daikon. High in fiber, it is perfect for making takuan pickles. The crispy takuan made with Nerima daikon was a favorite of the Edoites and helped artisans and laborers supplement the salt that they had sweat away."

The Nerima daikon has long
roots,from 60 to 70 cm.

 The Nerima daikon makes delicious
takuan pickles.

Nerima Daikon

Source: website of The Tokyo Foundation http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/topics/japanese-traditional-foods/vol.9-japanese-radish

"Legend has it that the Nerima daikon originated from the seeds that Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the fifth Tokugawa shogun, ordered from Owari to the capital for cultivation. But its shape and characteristics would seem to suggest that it is the outcome of generations of complex natural crossbreeding between a pre-existent local variety of Nerima and the variety brought from Owari, until a radish with favorable qualities was born.

Several factors played in its favor, leading to its active cultivation. The soil in Nerima is part of the Kanto loam layer, consisting of volcanic ashes from Mt. Fuji and ideal for daikon cultivation. The radish had superior qualities as a takuan pickling vegetable. Moreover, it became the designated daikon for payment in kind to the Tokugawa shogunate. Production volumes increased in the Meiji era (1868-1912), as large quantities of takuan made from Nerima daikon were supplied to the army during the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars (1894-95 and 1904-1905) as garnish for the rice balls eaten by soldiers. Consumption further grew between the Taisho era (1912-1926) and the beginning of the Showa era, and up to 500,000 Nerima daikon were annually produced in the peak years. From around the mid-1950s, however, the tide reversed.

In 1989 a program was jointly started by the Nerima Ward, farmers, and agricultural cooperatives to save the Nerima daikon from extinction. Today, as in the old days, most of the harvested radishes are pickled. The Nerima daikon is sown between late August and early September and harvested between late November and early December. Prior to pickling, the daikon is sun dried for 10 to 14 days in the cold, depending on the weather, after having the soil washed away and its skin scraped off with shark skin or a similar tool to facilitate drying. Once thoroughly dehydrated, the daikon is taken to picklers and becomes takuan.

Furthermore, some farmers are individually engaging in unique efforts. Yoshitaka Shiraishi, in addition to growing Nerima daikon under commission from the ward, is also trying to reproduce the original Nerima daikon; the currently known Nerima daikon is actually a hybrid developed by a seed and nursery company. Shiraishi hopes to open the door to the past and bring back to life the true, original form of the Nerima daikon."

Print Details
 IHL Catalog #974
 Title Landscape at Nerima Ward
 板橋区・練馬風景 - Kanji title upper left margin
 Series One Hundred Pictures of Great Tokyo in the Showa Era
 Showa dai Tokyo hyakuzue 昭和大東京百図絵
 Reference Number
 #73 (artist's annotated portfolio list from c. 1940) 
 Koizumi Kishio (1893-1945)
Kisio Koziumi and 泉 (izumi) impressed in lower left of image
 Publication Date originally November 1935.  This print may be post-WWII edition.
 Edition unknown
 Publisher likely self-published; some sources list publisher as Asahi Press (see "The Publisher of the Series" under the artist's bio Koizumi Kishio.)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition poor - toning and heavy mat line; mounting residue in corners of top margin; paper loss top left margin; 3/4" tear upper right margin and into image, repaired from back; tape stains in corners verso
 Miscellaneous this print was mounted in an acidic mat as sold.  "Made in Occupied Japan" was stamped on the back of the mat as shown below.  This stamp was required to be placed on export items by the U.S. occupation authorities from late 1945 through the lifting of the order in April 1952.
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative prints)
 Format dai oban
 H x W Paper 12 x 15 1/2 in. (30.5 x 39.4 cm)
 H x W Image 11 1/8 x 14 3/4 in. (28.3 x 37.5 cm)
 Collections This Print The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00131-028; The Wolfsonian at Florida International University TD1993.69.1.29
 Reference LiteratureTokyo: The Imperial Capital Woodblock prints by Koizumi Kishio, 1928-1940,Marianne Lamonaca, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 2004, p. 98.