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Capturing Two Whales

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: print
Maker: Oyamada Tomokiyo
Place made: Japan, Tokyo
Date made: 1829
Materials: silk; board; ink; paper; color wash
Measurements: 13 in x 34 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. Both depict different climatic moments of netting and harpooning whales in traditional Japanese hunting techniques. On the left, groups of men work out of long boats propelled by oarsmen to first encircle the whale and make a racket, gallying the animal and driving it towards the shallows, into nets wielded by a second group of boats. Then, harpooners in separate boats would do their work as seen on right with the cow and calf. The nets made escape more difficult and the struggle tired out the whale sooner.