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Book/Printed Material The Insect Book.

About this Item


  • The Insect Book.


  • Ehon mushi-erami (The insect book) is by the ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753-1806). It was created by him before he produced the bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) for which he is famous. Each double page of the book contains a painted illustration of a plant and two species of insects, along with two kyōka (a poem style originating from waka, literally, Japanese poems). The kyōka are ostensibly insect-themed love poems. In all, 15 colored wood-block prints are included. The work demonstrates Utamaro's skill at drawing, as well as the high-quality printing techniques of the day. The book was published by Tsutaya Juzaburō (1750-97), a press mogul in the late Edo period (1600-1868).


  • Kitagawa, Utamaro, 1753?-1806 Artist.

Created / Published

  • Edo : Tsutaya Jûzaburô, 1788.


  • -  Japan
  • -  1788
  • -  Block printing
  • -  Flowers
  • -  Insects
  • -  Japanese poetry
  • -  Plants
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Ukiyo-e


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 book ; 27 x 18.1 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Diet Library.
  • -  Content in Japanese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666418

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Kitagawa, Utamaro, 1753?-1806 Artist. The Insect Book. Edo: Tsutaya Jûzaburô, 1788. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Kitagawa, U. (1788) The Insect Book. Edo: Tsutaya Jûzaburô. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Kitagawa, Utamaro, 1753?-1806 Artist. The Insect Book. Edo: Tsutaya Jûzaburô, 1788. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.