Mandarin Orange Plantation in Kii Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Mandarin Orange Plantation in Kii Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Harvesting Lacquer in Mikawa Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #540

(crêpe print)
IHL Cat. #1919

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 harvesting mandarin oranges in a terraced grove in Kii province.  Kii Province (紀伊国, Kii no Kuni), or Kishū (紀州), was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is today Wakayama Prefecture, as well as the southern part of Mie Prefecture.  Kishū has been a major orange growing area for centuries.  Basil Hall Chamberlin, British Japanologist, in his 1907 Handbook for Travellers in Japan describes a scene much as depicted in this print.  To wit:
We are now in the district of Arida [in Kishū province], notable as the greatest orange-producing centre in Japan; and as we proceed, we find all the lower slopes of the wide sheltered valleys covered with orange-groves.1

The crêped version of the print, IHL Cat. #1919, was made by the chirimen process, resulting in a cloth-like, smaller dimensioned, irregularly shaped print. (See the explanation in the Glossary under chirimen-e, "crêped" print).

Transcription of Scroll

Source: with thanks to Yajifun

Mandarin Orange Plantation in Kii Province 紀伊國蜜柑山畑之圖

“蜜柑ハ枝に刺ありて旧五月の頃に白花を開き其匂ひ甚だ香ばしく九月にいたり実青く冬にいたりて生熟す 紀伊の國の産品?其氣味甘美なること他に比類なし 実に柑中の冠たりといふべし 各郡夥しく産ずといへども有田郡を第一等とす 此郡より輸出すること凡百五十万箱に至れりとぞ”

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. A crêped version of the series was also produced.

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. 381.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog
 #540, #1919
 Title or Description Mandarin Orange Plantation in Kii Province 紀伊国蜜柑山畑之図
 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 IHL Cat. #540: good
 IHL Cat. #1919: excellent
 Colors IHL Cat. #540: excellent
 IHL Cat. #1919: good
 Condition IHL Cat. #540: good - vertical center fold reinforced verso
 IHL Cat. #1919: good - overall toning; margins slightly trimmed
 Genre nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper
 IHL Cat. #540: 6 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.8 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1919: 5 3/8 x 7 9/16 in. (13.7 x 19.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #540: 6 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1919: 5 1/8 x 7 3/8 in. (13 x 18.7 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University Library; The Kyushu University Museum Digital Archive
last revision: