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Soba Deliveryman from the portfolio Japanese Life and Customs A Set of Six Pictures

Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Soba Deliveryman

from the portfolio

Japanese Life and Customs a Set of Six Pictures

by Wada Sanzō, c. 1950s

Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)

IHL Cat. #1132

About This Print and the Folio

One of six chuban size (8 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.) prints issued as part of a portfolio of six prints titled Japanese Life and Customs by the publisher Kyoto Hangain.  The portfolio was likely first issued in the early 1950s and the designs are replications of pre-WWII designs from the series Occupations of the Shōwa Era in Pictures (Shōwa shokugyō e-zukishi).  As the prints are a smaller format than the original releases, new blocks would have been carved. 

As shown below, the portfolio carries the English title Japanese Life and Customs, but references the original series Occupations of Shōwa Japan in Pictures beneath it in Japanese (昭和職業絵盡) .  

In commenting on the common site of the soba vendor on wheels, as pictured in this print, U.S. Ambassador William R. Castle made the following observation in his February 1933 article for the National Geographic magazine:
And there seem to be more trick bicycle riders in Tokyo than in all the circuses of Europe and America, only in Tokyo they perform on the street and do not know they are performing. Not only can a man on a bicycle wind his way unconcerned through crowds hurrying in all directions, but he can do it carrying aloft a three-tiered tray filled with bowls of soup."1

click on image to enlarge
和田三造作 [a work by Sanzō Wada]
昭和職業絵盡 [Occupations of Shōwa Japan in Pictures]
三造 [Sanzō followed by 2 small rectangular seals in red]
中判 ["chuban" within gourd-shaped seal]
手摺木版画 六枝組 [handmade woodblock print, set of six]
版元 京都版画院 [publisher Kyoto Hanga In]

label affixed to inside back cover of folio

1 "Tokyo To-day," appearing in The National Geographic Magazine, February 1932, Volume LXI, Number Two, p. 141.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1132
 Title/Description Soba Deliveryman
 Series Japanese Life and Customs - A Set of Six Pictures
 Wada Sanzō (1883-1967)
 not signed
 not sealed
 Publication Date c. 1950s
 Kyoto Hangain 京都版画院
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre shin hanga
 Miscellaneous embossing
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper 9 3/16 x 11 3/16 in. (23.3 x 28.4 cm) 
 H x W Image 7 15/16 x 9 7/8 in. (20.2 x 25.1 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature 
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