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The Cover
July 6, 2011

Catching Whitebait at Nakaumi, Izumo Province (Nakaumi Shira-uo Tori)

JAMA. 2011;306(1):16. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.882

Silence:Catching Whitebait at Nakaumi, Izumo Province (cover) whispers its mood ever so softly, barely breaking the surface quiet. The ripples of the fisherman's rudder leave their trail as the water gently parts. A mere trace of aquatic echo emanates from the woodblock print, as though it speaks a universal language.

Tradition: Oda Kazuma (1882-1956), also known as Kazuma Oda, created his woodblock prints at the end of the Meiji period, as ukiyo-e style faded from its heyday—the Edo period—of the late 19th century. Ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world,” arose in simple beginnings, depicting genre scenes for public consumption ( JAMA covers, July 28, 1999, November 3, 1999, and September 23/30, 2009). Woodblock prints were less expensive and easier to produce than paintings, and distribution of many copies of the same image allowed the merchant class to enjoy art like those of the noble strata of Japanese society.

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