Shiohi no tsuto - Gifts of the ebb tide

Shiohi no tsuto (Gifts of the ebb tide)
The shell book. (1789)
Painted by Kitagawa Utamaro (?-1806),
edited by Akera Kanko (1738-98)
A colored picture book of Kyoka (satirical poems) about shell collecting. 


The title Shiohi no Tsuto means souvenir of shell gathering. Thirty-eight kyoka poets, led by Akera Kanko, composed kyoka on 36 kinds of shellfish and on the two genre pictures of beautiful women. This is a rich and luxurious book, and represents the highest-level technic of the time.
Text and Images via NYPL

Shiohi no tsuto or The Shell book (1789) is one of three natural history books with illustrations from famous japanese printmaker Utamaro. The other two are The insect Book (1788) and the Bird Book (1790).

All three of them can be explored online with this beautiful and comprehensive
digital version incl. translations and interpretations of the poems

(via The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)

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