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Rendering a Whale

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: print
Maker: Oyamada Tomokiyo
Place made: Japan, Tokyo
Date made: 1829
Materials: board; silk; paper; color wash; ink
Measurements: 13 in x 35 in
Nomenclature: whaling scenes
Classification: whales

Two hand-colored, Japanese village whaling scenes from volume 2 of 'Isanatori ekotoba' (An illustrated account of whaling) by Oyamada Tomokiyo. Two separate illustrations have been pasted side-by-side on a silk covered board. The print on the left depicts the aspects of the flensing of a whale and the division of labor of the village or community. The whale is conveniently hauled right up to the dock, in which the its blubber or meat is carried a few meters across the dock to the processing center located at the water's edge. On the right, is panoramic bird's-eye view of the same location, but depicts the moment before flensing, where villagers tow the whale to shore. Crowds gather at the dock to either help or get ready for their role in the flensing process. A digitized, uncolored copy of the volume can be found at the National Diet Library Japan website: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/2576169