Gathering Mulberry Leaves for Silkworms, Japan

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The growing of mulberry trees in Japan is an important work. It is not an industry in itself, but a part of the great silk industry. Acres are planted to mulberry trees to feed the hungry silkworms. Cuttings, shoots, and young plants are set out much as you would start an orchard. To secure the best quality in the leaves, the trees are budded and grafted as our fruit trees are. The mulberry can stand a great variety of weather. It is found in Europe and America, as well as in Asia. It was brought from Asia to Europe, about 50 years after Columbus discovered America. Since then silkworm culture has been carried on in Europe. France and Italy produce a great deal of silk. The mulberry tree in America has never been much used as a food supply for silkworms. The worms thrive here in certain sections, but our labor is too expensive to make the industry profitable. In Asia the trees have been cultivated for centuries to furnish food for the little silk weavers. After the trees have become full sized bushes, they are cut back to make them leafy. There is also another reason for the close trimming. The workmen stand on the ground to gather the leaves. The view shows the way in which the branches are cut. In some of the groves the leaves are picked off the branches before they are taken to the feeding rooms. Observe the great grove on the right side of the view. Note the round trim of the tree just beyond the nearest one. The Japanese field hands here shown are of the peasant type. Study the face of the one nearest you, the one who is holding his hat in his hand. What is the latitude of France and Italy? Of Japan? Are they warm or hot countries? Keystone ID: 14744 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.