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


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Harvesting Lacquer in Mikawa Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Making Sōmen in Noto Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #539

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 the tapping of lacquer 漆 trees in Mikawa Province.  Mikawa Province (三河国, Mikawa no kuni) is an old province in the area that today forms the eastern half of Aichi Prefecture.

Lacquer Tress of Japan

Source: New York Times archive Published: September 17, 1882 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F7071FFC3F5910738DDDAE0994D1405B8284F0D3
Abstract of Article: Under date Tokio, Jan. 18 of the current year (1882), her Majesty's Consul at Hakodate has issued an interesting report on the lacquer industry of Japan. It is, as set forth, intended chiefly as a description of articles of various kinds included under this special industry, collected for the use of the Museum of Economic Botany at Kew.


    click on image to go to full article

Transcription of Scroll

Source: scroll transcriptionwith thanks to Yajifun http://yajifun.tumblr.com/; notes from National Institutes for the Humanities

Harvesting Lacquer in Mikawa Province 同(三河)國漆取之圖

備考]中判 横 錦絵   画工:歌川広重3 広重筆  版元:大倉孫兵衛   主題内容:産業・技術 物産絵  人名その他:漆の木 漆かき 竹筒 筵 

“漆樹は雌雄の二種あり 雌木ハ実を結び蠟を取べく 雄木ハ実なし 刻漆をとる也 時候は半夏生より初リ十月に終る 其取法(トリカタ)樹に段々傷を付 口より流るゝ夜(シル)を鉄の箆にて掻取り腰ニ付たる竹づゝに請?(ウケ)とめ枝を切て水ニ浸し傷を付て液を掻とる也”

※シル 液

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 popular series that was reprinted an unknown number of times.  In this printing, note the difference in the color of the stylized clouds in the explanatory scroll and different coloration in the image, particularly in the shading of the trees and mountains.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Harvesting Lacquer in Mikawa Province 同国[三河]漆取之図
 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 excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - separated at vertical center fold and repaired verso
 Genre nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper
 6 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)
 Gifts of Gold, The Art of Japanese Lacquer Boxes, Fairfield Universtiy Art Museum, 2020
 Collections This Print
 National Museum of Japanese History H-22-1-30-7-23
latest update:
Irwin Lavenberg,
Jan 15, 2020, 2:10 PM