Wada, Sanzo
Japanese Vocations in Pictures, series 1, 2, and 3
Also known by the unofficial title of 'Occupations of the Showa Era in Pictures'.

Sanzo Wada graduated from the Western-style painting division of Tokyo School of Fine Arts. Studied in Europe 1907-1915; traveled to India and Burma. Appointed Member Imperial Arts Academy in 1927 and taught at Tokyo School of Fine arts from 1927.

According to Shinagawa Kiyoomi, editor-in-chief of the book of paintings in print 'Dia Nihon Gyorui Gashuu' by Ohno Bakufu, Sanzo Wada wanted to make a series of prints that expressed the rapid modernisation that Japan was experiencing in the 1930s. As an example of this modernisation, he chose to depict workers in Showa-era occupations, not just those occupations of recent times, but also those traditional occupations that were gradually disappearing.

To do this, Wada brought together woodblock print printers and carvers from as far away as Kyoto and Tokyo, and housed them and their families in a lodging house that he purchased in Nishinomiya near Kobe. The publication of this series by Nishinomiya Sho-In, called 'Japanese Vocations in Pictures' (Showa Shokugyo E-Zukushi) commenced in Showa 13 (1938), and it was Wada's plan to publish 2 new prints every month until a total of 100 designs had been completed. His prints often appeared in the main Japanese newspapers, and Asahi Newspaper even used their resident woodblock print artist Yoshida to critique Wada's work. This series by Wada became an instant hit, and orders for his prints flooded in, not just from customers in mainland Japan, but also from places as far away as Karafuto (the Japanese name for Sakhalin Island), Manchuu (the pre-war Japanese name for Manchuria), and even Singapore. However, (according to Shinagawa Kiyoomi) because to the deteriorating domestic conditions due to the war, publication was suspended Showa 18 (1943).

In the end, Wada was only able to publish a total of 48 prints during the war period, as two series each containing 24 prints. New prints were indeed issued a pair at a time on a monthly basis, but perhaps due to war-time hardships there were no prints published in some months. After the war, Kyoto Hanga-In continued the series under the name 'Continuing Japanese Vocations in Pictures', with 24 scenes being published (during the period 1954 to 1956), so the originally planned issue of a total of 100 scenes was not fulfilled. I have been able to confirm that the pre-war series were limited-editions of 300 prints per scene. The first pair of prints were issued in June 1939, and the latest confirmed date for prints 21 and 22 from the second series were issued in June 1941. Soon after Wada issued a limited edition set in a deluxe album containing all 48 prints.

The third series published in the 1950s by Kyoto Hanga-In entitled 'Continuing Japanese Vocations in Pictures' (Zoku Showa Shokugyo Ezukushi) was issued as a limited-edition series of 200 prints. The earliest print date is November 1954, and the last print date is September 1956.

Update: In early 2009 I was finally able to purchase an original album set of this third series of Japanese Vocations, including the original album of course. I can now confirm that there were a total of 24 prints in this series. Each print has its tissue paper cover mounted to the verso's top edge and folded over the front of the print. This tissue cover contains the scene explanation in both English and Japanese.

Besides the album sets, I think pairs of prints were also issued to subscription members, so I'm assuming that the edition sizes were 200 for subscription and 200 for the album sets (total of 400 strikes per scene). This would explain the appearance of duplicate edition numbers for the same scene, and the fact that some prints are printed on watermarked paper, while others are printed on un-watermarked paper of slightly smaller dimensions (my album set is printed on watermarked paper).

Japanese Vocations in Pictures

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Players Of Western Music- A Quartet - 洋楽師
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: June 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Pilgrims - 巡禮
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: June 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Boxers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Goldfish Seller - 金魚屋
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Professional Tennis Players
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Riverboat Captain
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Cooper
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Photographer - 写真班
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Farrier - 蹄鉄工
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Pilots - 飛行士
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Picture-Story Teller - 紙芝居
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Sword Sharpener
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Soldiers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Evening Paper Vendor (Yuukan Uri) - 夕刊売
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Fishermen
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Machinist
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Potter
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Railway Crossing Controller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Flag Merchant
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Komuso
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Flower Vendor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Salaried man
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: June 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Inn for Sailers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: The Electrical Linesman - 電線工
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940/41

Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Continued (Second series)

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Fishing Pond
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Dancers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Gasoline Stand
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Cook
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Soba Vendor - そば出前持ち
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Shoe Cleaning
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Fortune Teller - 大道命師
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Coal Vendor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Stone Mason
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Iron Foundry Worker
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Milker - 乳しぼり
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Oden Stall
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Blacksmith (Kaji)
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Biwa Player
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Salvation Army
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Fish market
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Women's Hair Dresser
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Women Weavers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Sake Distiller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Public Bath - 風呂屋
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Grenhouse Worker - 温室の人
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: June 1941

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Kendo Instructor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: June 1941

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Farming Family
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Kindergarten Teacher
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941

Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Continued (Third series)

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Professional Golfer - プロゴルファー
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 November

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Cormorant Fisherman
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 November

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Lesson in Calligraphic Writing
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 December

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Shoe Shiner
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 December

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Sumo - 角力
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 January

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Go Lesson
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 February

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Ox-Cart
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 February

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Dollmakers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 March

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Maiko
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 April

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Bicycle Race
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 April

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Ama- Fisherwoman
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 September

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Noh Players
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 September

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Day-Labourer
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 November

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Drum Maker
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 November

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Railway Workers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 December

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Music Master
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 December

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Dying Shop
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 March

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Professional Photographers - 写真屋
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 April

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Coal Miners
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 April

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Welder
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 June

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Baseball
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 August

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Small Bird Shop
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 August

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Nuns
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 September

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - 和田三造
Title: Mendicant Priest - 僧侶
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 September


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