Taiji's whale boats were "painted in such brilliant colors as can be seen in the wonders of nature and fantasy" according to a visitor at the beginning of the 19th century.

All that remains today are a few fragments, pictured above, but this site features recreations of the boats, which we know from paintings and scrolls featured vivid phoenix birds, chrysanthemums, cherry blossoms and spiny lobsters, along with the hash-like Taiji family crest.

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While the boats are shown here as works of art, they were working boats, part of a large whaling fleet crewed by hundreds of men. Below, the modern renditions are compared with depictions from a six-panel folding screen on whaling painted about 150 years ago: