Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
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.

Series 1

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Blacksmith (Kaji)
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Boxers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Coal Vendor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Dancers
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Evening Paper Vendor (Yuukan Uri)
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Fish Market
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Fish market
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Fishermen
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Flag Merchant
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Flower Vendor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Goldfish Seller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Iron Foundry Worker
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Iron Foundry Worker
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Kendo Instructor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: June 1941
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Kendo Instructor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: June 1941
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Kindergarten Teacher
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1941
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Photographer
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Picture-Story Teller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Players Of Western Music- A Quartet
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: June 1939
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Players Of Western Music- A Quartet
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: June 1939
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Potter
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Potter
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Professional Tennis Players
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Public Bath
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Railway Crossing Controller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Riverboat Captain
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1939

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 2

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

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Farming Family
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Fortune Teller
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Grenhouse Worker
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: June 1941

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

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Pilots
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940/41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 3

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Bicycle Race
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 April
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Coal Miners
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1956 April

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Professional Golfer
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 November

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

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

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

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Shoe Shiner
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1954 December
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Sumo
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 3
Date: 1955 January

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

Series 1 and 2 (later 1950s edition)

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Farming Family
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41

Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: Soba Vendor
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 2
Date: 1940/41
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Artist: Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967)
Title: The Komuso
Series: Japanese Vocations in Pictures - Series 1
Date: 1940


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