Actor Immitating Summer Peddling (Haiyū Mitate Natsu Shōnin)
Painted by Utagawa Kunisada During the Tempō period (1830-1844) Tokyo Shiryō Collection 5714-C31-1

A Kabuki actor portrays one of the summer's popular businesses. In the picture is written the phrase, "Let's cool off the gut of (a pun also meaning 'to frighten') the luke-warm actor. Selling utsumaki-taki icewater." The picture depicts a merchant selling icewater.

Kanda and Tamagawa waterworks were built to supply daily drinking water to people in Edo. But the water tasted bad and they bought water from water merchants called "Botefuri" (merchant carrying water on a pole and selling it).
n addition to such water merchants, "botefuri" selling ice water appeared in summer. An essay called "Morisada mankō", written in the end of the Edo period, introduced ice water merchants selling ice water with dumpling made from rice flour and items with white sugar in it, which was a unique business in Edo, not seen in the Kansai area.
n June 1, there was a ceremony in which the Kaga domain presented the ice stored at the ice room in Komagome to the Shōgun. The spare ice was distributed to passersby. Cold water and ice water to beat the heat were one of seasonal traditions in summer in Edo. An actor in the picture is Ichikawa Uzaemon XII. The house of Ichikawa Uzaemon was a famous family as the manager of the theater, "Ichimura-za".