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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
Description:

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.

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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.

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"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.

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

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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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