Three double-page & three single-page paintings, all but one in fine coloring. Nine folding leaves. 8vo (275 x 195 mm.), orig. brown wrappers, new stitching. From the first leaf of text: “Shinto” [probably Ise]: late Edo.
This text was written by Awagimaru Hata (1764-1808), a Tokugawa bakufu official who served in Hokkaido from 1798 to 1800. He is most famous for his work concerning the ethnology of the Ainu, the aboriginal inhabitants of the island; it is the earliest work on the ethnology of these people. Our manuscript is a later copy.
Domestic demand far exceeded the quantity of mushrooms found naturally, so the Japanese began to fell shii-noki, elms, and oaks. The logs were then scored with a sharp knife, laid on the ground, and remained there for upwards of three years, after which they were stacked in rows in a shady area where they became covered in shiitake mushrooms.
Hata provides a history of the artificial cultivation of shiitake in Japan and gives detailed instructions, fully explaining all the steps described above. The attractive illustrations depict leaves of the trees used, the drying logs, which were placed next to trees already growing shiitake, and the method of drying the mushrooms on wooden skewers placed in front of charcoal fires in huts.
Fine copy. Minor worming in gutter.
Item ID: 8294