Cutting through white-capped waves, the bows of two kitamaebune (North Bound Ships) approach from the right margin. This term refers to both the vessels and to the important shipping route that wound from Osaka through the Sea of Japan to Hokkaido from the mid-Edo period well into the Meiji period. These merchant ships would sail from port to port, buying and selling throughout their journey. Through their commercial activities, these ships spread regional culture–from music to fashion. In the early 20th century, railroads replaced these shipping routes. The former Oki Province now composes the Oki District of Shimane Prefecture, located on the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan.
 Japan Heritage, “What is Kitamaebune?” Japan Heritage of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. https://en.kitamae-bune.com/about/main/