The sea marked a boundary both real and imagined in Tokugawa Japan (1615– 1868). Contact with sea creatures was mainly in the form of food, however, sea creatures were also envisioned as curious objects which captured people’s imagination.
Bible Illustrations — Fish are frequently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. Well-known Old Testament references to fish include God’s creation of ‘all creatures of the sea’ on the Fifth Day of the First Week, the sea monster Leviathan, and the large fish.
In his 1558 Historia Piscium the Swiss scholar Conrad Gessner described a species of fish which was at that time new to science as an “addition” to another species. His scientific discovery highlights how species were identified and depicted.