Hokusai - Ehon Sumida Gawa - Print 2-15

2-15 Anchorage at Koume (continued)

In the foreground a man is sweeping his yard and a beam is waiting to be sawn further into planks. On the far bank the village of Koume is known for its production of roof tiles.

About thirty years later, Hokusai designed this print depicting how a beam is sawn into planks (click to enlarge):

Cutting Planks

Mount Fuji from the mountains of Tōtōmi
from the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series designed by Hokusai (ca. 1830)

Below the beam on the left a man is sharpening the teeth of a saw with a file. Note the wonderful stylized way in which Hokusai manages to capture the movement of the smoke rising from the fire.

This black and white photograph - taken by Elstner Hilton between 1914 and 1918 - gives an idea of how logs were processed in Japan before the advent of mechanised saw-mills. Looking closely at the end of the log, it becomes clear that parallel lines have been scribed on its surface to help the log cutter obtaining planks of uniform thickness. Black dots are also visible that probably played a role in marking the cut lines (click to enlarge):

Cutting Planks

Sawing planks the traditional Japanese way

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional