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Eight Views of Edo Suburbs: Fishing Boats Returning to Gyôtoku

Accession Number
1948/1.138

Title
Eight Views of Edo Suburbs: Fishing Boats Returning to Gyôtoku

Artist(s)
Andô Hiroshige

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1835-1842

Medium & Support
color woodblock print on paper

Dimensions
8 13/16 in x 13 13/16 in (22.38 cm x 35.08 cm);14 5/16 in x 19 3/8 in (36.35 cm x 49.21 cm);11 13/16 in x 17 in (30 cm x 43.18 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Salt was an important commodity during the Edo period. It was used in a number of rituals and as a method of purification. One of the most important uses of salt was
in the preservation of food, in particular fish. The long, flat, hard-packed beaches at Gyôtoku were one of the few places around the capital suitable for harvesting this precious resource. The salt piles and boiling houses associated with this industry are depicted here.
Gyôtoku was also the final destination for many ferry boats that ran along an extensive network of canals. In the foreground of this print, one such boat carries passengers. A boatman steers using the large rudder located in the back of the boat. Long bamboo poles were also used to pilot watashi-bune through shallow waters.
exhibited summer 2010

Subject matter
Salt was an important commodity during the Edo period. It was used in a number of rituals and as a method of purification: to this day salt is used to purify the sumo ring before the beginning of a match. One of the most important uses of salt was in the preservation of food, in particular fish. In Edo the price of salt was high, as the long, flat, hard-packed beaches at Gyôtoku were one of the only places in the area suitable for harvesting this precious resource.
The pyramid shaped hills in the background of this print are those of the boiling houses and salt piles of Gyôtoku’s unique industry. Gyôtoku was also the final destination for many ferry boats that ran along the network of Edo canals. One such boat, or watashi-bune, carries passengers in the foreground of this picture. It was typical for two shipmen to pilot these ferries. In this print one steers using the large rudder located in the back of the boat. Long bamboo poles were also used to pilot watashi-bune through shallow waters.

Physical Description
The pyramid shaped hills in the background of this print are those of the boiling houses and salt piles of Gyôtoku’s salt industry. A ferry boat, or watashi-bune, carries passengers in the foreground of this picture. In this print a shipman steers using the large rudder located in the back of the boat.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
color print

Additional Object Classification(s)
Print

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Edo (Japanese Migration style or period)
Ukiyo-e
fishing
fishing vessels
sailboats
shores (landforms)
streams

5 Related Resources

Food Cultures
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)
Work and Workers
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Travel
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved