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Waterwheel from an untitled series on the Rice Plant

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

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 


from an untitled series on the Rice Plant

attributed to the school of Utagawa Kuniteru II, 1873

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

IHL Cat. #632

About This Print

One of five known prints from a series of color woodblock educational prints covering various aspects of the rice plant issued in 1873 by the Ministry of Education (文部省 Monbushō). This print demonstrates use of a foot-powered waterwheel to irrigate rice paddies and various rice food dishes.

Rice - Integral to Japanese Life 
In Japanese agriculture, rice carries incalculable weight compared with other crops. It is no exaggeration to say that the maintenance of complete rice self-sufficiency is the sole guarantee to agriculture and farming households in Japan. Rice farming in Japan, with a history of 2,300 years behind it, has greatly influenced all areas of national life, including social order, religious worship, festivals, food, clothings and housing, thus molding the prototype of Japanese culture. In addition, Japanese agriculture and its farming household economy have traditionally developed around rice, and other sectors of agriculture, such as livestock farming and horticulture, are actually based on rice. 
– Zenchū Farm News, Vol. 5, Tokyo, January 1987:2

Prints in the Series

Note: the below prints carry a red cartouche reading 宮木宥弌 臧書 and/or a red stamp stating 寄宮附木 identifying the collector and donator of these prints to the library as Miyaki Yūitsu the chief priest of Jutokuji temple in Takinogawa, Tokyo. Miyaki Yuitsu collected textbooks from schools and temple schools around the time of the Meiji Restoration, while he was a practicing monk. His collection was reported to be a total of more than 20,000 books.

稲 稲の種類
Types of Rice Plants

稲 田植
Rice Planting

稲 水車

稲 脱穀

稲 米蔵
Rice Storage

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
 Title or Description Waterwheel
 Series untitled series on how to grow rice 稲の生育方と用
 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
 PublisherMinistry of Education (Monbushō 文部省)
 note: missing the Ministry of Education publishing seal reading 文部省製本所発行記 [published by Ministry of Education]
 Impression excellent
 Colors good
 Condition fair - trimmed to image along bottom; light soiling and wrinkling; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; kyōiku nishiki-e [full-color educational prints]
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 
 13 11/16 x 9 1/4 in. (34.8 x 23.5 cm)
 H x W Image 13 3/16 x 8 3/4 in. (33.5 x 22.2 cm)

 Collections This Print
University of Tsukuba library http://www.tulips.tsukuba.ac.jp/lib/ja/collection/rare-kyoiku-nishikie
last revision:
1/17/2019 (created)