The former faience had its origin at the close of the 17th century, the latter at the close of the 18th; but the Izumoyaki now procurable is a modern production.
This is devoted to the very distinct and not nearly-allied groups of hornbills and of birds which for want of a better name we must call " Chatterers," and is illustrated, like those works of which a notice immediately follows, by coloured plates, done in what was then considered to be the highest style of art and by the best draughtsmen procurable.
For the architectural embellishment of the city the finest building material was procurable without difficulty and in abundance; Pentelicus forms a mass of white, transparent, blue-veined marble; another variety, somewhat similar in appearance, but generally of a bluer hue, was obtained from Hymettus.
The production was very limited, and good pieces soon ceased to be procurable except at long intervals and heavy expense.
In 1869 a rice-famine occurred in the southern island, Kiiishiu, and while the cereal was procurable abundantly in the northern provinces, people in the south perished of hunger owing to lack of transport facilities.