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The Cloth-fulling Jewel River in Settsu Province (Settsu no kuni Tōi no Tamagawa - 摂津国檮衣の玉川) from an untitled triptych series of Six Jewel Rivers (Mu Tamagawa - 六玉川)

Identifier: 1850c Kuniyoshi silk workers

On the bank of the Tōi Crystal River, a woman kneeling by a fulling-block beating cloth. A child behind her. A woman on the left is taking away rolls of cloth that have already been treated. Village houses in the distance.


The Tōi Jewel River is the furthest south of the six, name-related, rivers. They "...were famous in Japan for their pure, clear waters. Although geographically far apart, they shared a common name, and their peculiarities and poetic pseudonyms were often used as the titles in series of six prints." Quoted from: Playthings and Pastimes in Japanese Prints by Lea Baten, p. 144.

Minamoto Shunrai (1055?-1129?) wrote:

Whispering wind in ancient pines
desolate autumn
in the village by the Jewel river
where clothes are wrung.


"The catalogue of the Baur Collection, Geneva, illustrates all six triptychs in what is in effect a series, though it does not have a title... Each displays the name of the province and that of the Jewel river within a snowflake-shaped cartouche."

Quoted from: Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection by Timothy Clark, p. 162.


Illustrated in color in Japanese Prints: Images of the Floating World, Barry Davies Oriental Art, #77, illustrated on p. 99.


There are other copies of this triptych in the collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Library and in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.

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