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210122-0039-OS - Japanese Rush Farming


Hiroshima Meiji 1870s Utagawa Hiroshige III

Woodblock print of rush farming in eastern Hiroshima Prefecture.

Soft rush has been cultivated in Japanese rice fields since the 15th century. It was used as a material for tatami mats, hanamushiro flower mats (花筵) and zori sandals. The dried pith was used to make andon lamp wicks.

Original title: Planting rush in Bingo Province (備後國藺を植ル圖) from the series Products of Greater Japan (大日本物産圖會, Dai Nippon Bussan Zue) by Utagawa Hiroshige III (三代目 歌川広重, 1842?-1894). Published in Tokyo by Okura Magobei (大倉孫兵衛) in 1877 (Meiji 10).

The series was published just before the opening of the First National Industrial Exposition (第1回内国勧業博覧会) in Tokyo’s Ueno Park on August 21, 1877.

Private Collection
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Dai Nippon Bussan Zue, Hiroshima, Juncus Effusus, Utagawa Hiroshige III, agriculture, clothing, customs, farmers, harvesting, occupations, people, rural, rush, trades, traditions, ukiyoe, woodblock prints, work
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