National Archives of JAPAN

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Mikikigusa Narushima Motonao shokunin utaawase

Mikikigusa (total 176 volumes) containing information and records written or filed by direct retainer Miyazaki Narichika during closing days of Edo period abounds with many interesting illustrations and beautiful color diagrams. Some of them are shown here.

Modeled after the singing competitions with entrants lined up on the right and left sides, the book profiles 20 different occupations in 10 pairs of pictures of townspeople including a yam peddler, eggplant peddler, fishmonger, and tofu peddler. The artist is thought to be Narushima Motonao (1778 - 1862), a Confucian scholar who served as a tutor to the shogun house and edited Tokugawajikki, the official records of the Tokugawa shogunate.