Bonito Fishing on the Ocean, Tosa Province, 1855, 7th month

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Bonito is arguably the most favored fish among the people in Japan. Hatsu-gatsuo, the first bonito of the season, becomes available in early summer and was a highly prized delicacy in the capital city of Edo in the 19th century. Bonito fishermen traditionally used fishing poles rather than nets in order to minimize the damage and stress on the fish, believing that this would enhance their flavor. Depicted here is a scene of bonito fishing off the coast of Tosa Province, or today's Køchi Prefecture, in southwest Japan. Hiroshige rendered the choppy sea as a series of undulating dark and light blue bands, heightening the sense of liveliness as the fishermen go about their business.

Bonito Fishing on the Ocean, Tosa Province
Artist Life
1797 - 1858
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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