DRAFT, text of Ukiyo-e ni miru
NOTE: This text was written for translation, so is not entirely
natural in English, and includes a number of
It is now 70 years since the Great Kantô Earthquake
swept away the few remaining traces of old Edo, so that few are alive today
who remember the grealh Edo. The urban landscape of
Books and exhibitions of
The surprise when
But when we look more closely, we discover that in fact each meisho does have a distinctive identity that can be pinpointed no matter what the style. One might call it the ggestalth (in Japanese, gkatah) of the place. After appreciating the diversity of expression, we then come to learn of the ways in which each place is given an essential identity, a sort of ggestalt/katah that helps identify it no matter which artist shows it, no matter how personal the style. The nature of the kata is diverse, and will often have several elements, but will always help to quickly identify the place. One example would be the waterfall at Meguro Fudô, another the stone monuments at Asukayama.
But it is not only the gkatah that matters.
Rather they enable the artist to engage in wonderfully diverse expressions
of the human detail of each place.
gMeishoh is an old idea is Japanese culture. It began as gnadokoro,h places sung in poetry, which then became the set convention of gutamakura.h These meisho were appreciated not as places one actually visited, but for associations with fixed seasons or seasonal items (fûbutsu). But in course of the Edo period, things changed as more and more people actually traveled to see gfamous places and historical sitesh (meisho shiseki). These travelers came to desire souvenirs (omiyage) that preserve the image of the places as they actually saw them. And with the development of the single-sheet woodblock prints as a reproductive art, it became possible to create these images for ever larger numbers of people.
An important new technique that would greatly
enhance the gme de mita mamah realism in prints of gseeing things just as
the eye does (me de mita mama)h was introduced to
Of course, perspective did not operate in
And even when the effects of perspective were
used, this did not mean abandoning the heritage of gfamous places,h or gmeisho.h Season remains a crucial aspect of all
In this way, the story of the
Here let us quickly survey the major stages
in the history of the Japanese landscape print. Before
This tradition of sumizuri picture
The real revolution in
The uki-e boom of the 1740s seems to have faded for a time, but it saw a revival from the 1760s under Toyoharu, founder of the Utagawa line, five of whose uki-e appear in this volume. Now the effects of perspective were applied to views of nature, and thanks to the new multi-color gbrocade printh (nishiki-e) technique begun in 1765, a solid blue sky could be shown, often with clouds in it. After Toyoharu, other artists continued to produce uki-e in a similar manner (figs. 21, 63), usually prefixed by guki-eh in the title. The genre of uki-e revived from Kansei, and continued on as late as Tenpô, but in a generally archaic and stylized manner (for example, fig. 100).
A wholly new wave of Western influence was introduced
This new gwestern-styleh (yôfû)
influence of Kôkan was continued in three different directions seen in this
volume. Closest to Western sources were the copperplate
meisho-e of Aôdô Denzen, whose mastery of perspective may be seen in fig.
13. Another was the gpseudo-westernh style (giji-yôfû) of Hokusai and such followers as Hokuju and Shinsai. And still a third was gdoro-e,h which were prints not
paintings, but which were comparable in that they were produced in large
numbers for visitors to
Apart from these gwesternh styles, little further
innovation occurred in
The other innovation is the use of the imported pigment Prussian blue (gberoaih), which suddenly appears on prints in lavish quantity from Bunsei 12 (1829). It seems to have been the great popularity of this color that stimulated Hokusai's masterpiece gThirty-Six Views of Mt. Fujih (Fugaku sanjûrokkei), which was followed within the space of three or four years by Hiroshige's gFifty-Three Stages of the Tôkaidôh (Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi) and Kuniyoshi's gFamous Places of the Eastern Capitalh (Tôto meisho) series. This final fulfillment of the Japanese landscape print in the space of just a few years at the beginning of Tenpô is a remarkable event in Japanese art history.
After early Tenpô, the vast majority of
1. The meisho-e have been limited to colored prints (hand-colored and color-printed mokuhanga, and hand-colored dôbanga) plus several nikuhitsu doro-e.
2. The meisho shown are those that numerically were
most numerous among all single-sheet
3. The artists were chosen to represent all major
figures in the history of the
4. The original size unless otherwise indicated is ôban (roughly 26x39 cm).
TEXT FOR ILLUSTRATIONS:
1A. Kuwagata Keisai (Kitao Masayoshi): "
Here we stand surveying Ô-Edo in what today is called a gbirdfs-eye view,h although even a bird that could fly this high would never see it in this way. The landscape has been carefully arranged for us by the artist, who signs himself proudly gEdo Kuwagata Shôshin.h This is the former ukiyo-eshi Kitao Masayoshi, now the kakae-eshi of lord of Tsuwano and known as Kuwagata Keisai.
The view is west, with the great protective
form of Muji looming above, far more immense than its real appearance. Below and a bit to the left is the enclosure of Edo-jô,
low buildings in a tall forest. And below that, the
sprawling gray shitamachi with Nihonbashi and Edobashi greatly enlarged at
center. And then running through the entire foreground,
the Sumida, known as the g
Despite the appearance of a unified gichiranzu,h
the actual title appearing on the fukuro was g
It is revealing to compare this view with the one we will see at the end of this volume.
2. Asakusa Kannon DOUBLE SPREAD pp. 10-13.
2A. Utagawa Toyoharu, "Ukie Kinryûzan kaichô no zu." Meiwa shoki (1764-67) koro. [Shûka 15/117 says before 1767 fire destroyed Niômon. Publ. Matsumura.]
2B. Aôdô Denzen, "Dai-Nihon Kinryûzan no zu." Dôban, hissai. Bunka 2-14. (1805-14) koro.
2C. Utagawa Kunitaka, "
2D. Totoya Hokkei, "Tôto Kinryûzan Sensôji zu." Tenpô (1830-44) koro. [Looks clearly like beroai on tip of Tsukuba to me; note that his uchiwa-e in V&A are also aizuri, dated Tenpô zenki.]
2E. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Asakusa Kinryûzan" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 3 (1856).
As the oldest and most venerable temple in
In accord with the essential religious quality
of the place, pictures of Asakusa Kannon were inevitably composed by the
red buildings of the
Almost a century later, Hiroshige in the view
Hokkeifs panorama to the left shows the overall
layout, from the river entry at Komakata-dô on the Sumida on the lower left,
proceeding up the sandô, through the Kaminarimon and Niômon until we come
to the great Hondô. The pagoda, as seen in these views,
was on the right, east of the Hondô, until its destruction in 1945; when
the present pagoda was rebuilt in S48 (1973), it was moved to the west. In the distance is a sweeping view of the Sumidagawa from
Azumabashi up, and beyond the auspicious rising sun on the right, and the
distinctive twin-peaked silhouette of Tsukuba-san to the left. I was very excited to find this unusual view in the
Aôdô Denzenfs copperplate view is the most unusual
of all; over 50 cm wide, it is by far the largest of his
The latest view here is Kunitakafs view of the Toshi no ichi, which reminds us of the bustle of markets and entertainment at Asakusa Kannon, and perhaps best conveys the shominteki sense of the place that survives strong today. Here again the season is winter, which both visually and emotionally serves as a balance with the spiritual warmth of the place.
3. Ueno Tôeizan DOUBLE SPREAD pp. 14-17.
3A. Nishimura Shigenaga, "Ukie Ueno Tôeizan Shinobazu no fûkei." Urushi-e. Kanpô-Enkyô (1741-48) koro. [Shûka 1/43, Hickman thinks late 30's, Genbun, before perspective, but term "uki-e" suggests later.] Publ star seal [unknown].
3B. Tôeizan Kan'eiji. Akita-kei doro-e. An'ei (1772-81) koro ka.
3C. Keisai Eisen, "
3D. Utagawa Hiroshige, triptych, "Tôto meisho Ueno Tôeizan zenzu." Sanmai-tsuzuki. Tenpô 8-10 (1837-39) koro. [KPM F370.]
As in Bashôfs haiku gHana no kumo kane ga Ueno
ka Asakusa ka,h Ueno was always paired with Asakusa. But
against the shominteki Asakusa, Ueno was more on the side of kenryoku: Tôeizan Kanfeiji was established by the bakufu to guard
the kimon, and designated as shôgun-ke no bodaiji; on its grounds was a Tôshûgû. The entire area was conceived as a mitate of miyako, the
Tôkoku no Eizan, and complete with a Sannô Shrine and a
Ueno had a very shominteki aspect as the greatest of the sakura meisho in
Hiroshigefs triptych on the left shows clearly the central garan haichi: on the right the Kisshôkaku, and beyond the so-called gNinaidôh (after its resemblance to a tenbinbô), two dô joined by a watari-rôka. And still beyond is the great Chûdô. All were destroyed in the Battle of Ueno in 1868 and never rebuilt; only the cherries survive.
The doro-e painting below is a rather ishoku
view, showing influence of the yôfû style of the g
4. Shinobazu no ike pp. 18-19.
4A. Katsushika Hokusai, "Shinobazu no ike" Tôto shôkei ichiran). Ehon. Kansei 12 (1800) koro.
4B. Keisai Eisen, "
4C. Shinobazu no ike. Doro-e.
By extension of the mitate of Kanfeiji as Hieizan, Shinobazu Pond was seen as Biwako, and the Nakajima with its Benten-dô as Chikubujima. One reached the island by a causeway, passing over a stone bridge, visible in all three images here.
In Hokusaifs kyôka ehon view below, the two figures on the bridge to the left look down on a boat in which two men seem to be picking leaves of the lotus [flowers?], one standing in the water; the third kyôka above may refer to it: gHijiriko no naka fumikomite toru hasu no ike wa Ueno no yama no ashimoto.h
Even today, the pond is known for its luxuriant
growth of lotus, and few
Shinobazu Pond appears with special frequency
in uki-e and in the work of yôfû school, of which the doro-e to the lower
left here is an example. The explanation probably
lies in the compositional appeal of the pond, offering a rounded edge meeting
at a central horizon, with a blue sky above and the Bentenjima in the center
below. It was a favorite view of Shiba Kôkan and of
5. Nihonbashi DOUBLE SPREAD pp. 20-23.
5A. Kitao Masayoshi, "Nihonbashi Odawara-chô uoichi no zu." Tenmei 1781-89 koro. [KPM C108: Tenmei. In my article, I said "1780s."]
5B. Shôtei Hokuju, "Tôto Nihonbashi fûkei." Bunka (1804-18) koro. [Taikan 7/137: Bunka-Bunsei; Shûka 11/174: no date proposed. In 11A, I date his Senju view as early Tenpô because of the color, but this is surely earlier. Hyakka 8 gives Bunka for works of this type.]
5C. Keisai Eisen, "Edo Nihonbashi yori
5D. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Nihonbashi Asa no kei" (Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi no uchi). Tenpô 4-5 (1833-34) koro. [Hoeidô-ban. Michener I-1-A.]
We now turn to the very center of the city at Nihonbashi, the kiten for the Tôkaidô and place of measurement of distances to all the provinces. Nihonbashi was less a meisho that one visited for pleasure or beauty, than a place symbolizing the power and prosperity of the city. Certain key elements appear in most meisho-e of the place.
First was the bridge itself, which was always shown with the gibôju post-heads that marked it as a bridge of special distinction. And the bridge was normally crowded with figures, seen here in the Masayoshi view marked by the yari of a daimyo processsion and a huge bale of cotton on a cart.
In many views (all here, including Eisen on next page, except Masayoshi), one can also make out the kôsatsu at the south end of the bridge, another symbol of the centrality of Nihonbashi and of the authority of the bakufu. In the Hiroshige view, one gets a particularly detailed rendering of the notices.
A third symbol of Nihonbashi was the fish market
along the northern bank of the river west of the bridge.
Hokuju gives a nice view of the oshiokuri-bune bringing in
the fish, while Masayoshi provides an especially lively view of the market,
reminding us of Nihonbashi as g
Finally, two key elements in the majority of
views of Nihonbashi (5a,5b,5c) appear in the distant view to the west: these
are Fuji-san and
It is in these enkei of Nihonbashi that we find the only really clear views of
6. Honchô/Suruga-chô pp. 24-25.
6A. Nishimura Shigenaga, "Uki-e on-sairei tôjin gyôretsu emaki." Urushi-e. Hôreki (1751-64) koro. [Hyakka 6/161: Hôreki [1751-64] zen/chûki.]
6B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Suruga-chô" (
6C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Suruga-chô" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 3 (1856).
Travelling north on the main road from Nihonbashi,
two of the side streets to the left (west) offered views that were known
for their direct alignment in the direction of Mt. Fuji.
The more important street (a menuki-dôri) was Honchô, which served
as the formal entrance for visitors to
More famous for its view of
It is interesting to compare the form of
7. Kasumigaseki pp. 26-27.
7A. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, "Tôto meisho: Kasumigaseki." Tenpô shoki (1831-33) koro. [Taikan,
13/A30; date from
7B. Utagawa Hiroshige, triptych, "Kasumigaseki zenzu." Sanmai-tsuzuki. Tenpô 6-10 (1835-39) koro. [KPM F369: gives date, note earlier limit is two years before that of the Ueno triptych.]
7C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Kasumigaseki" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857).
The lovely placename gKasumigasekih was a poetic
utamakura of east japan from ancient times, and in
The triptych by Hiroshige to the left, however,
shows the keikan of Kasumigaseki in the opposite direction to the
west, with a distant view of
The view by Kuniyoshi parodies the conventions of Kasumigaseki as a meisho, using exaggerated enkinhô to make the slope--in reality quite gentle--appear impossibly steep. And instead of the usual New Yearfs setting, it is the middle of summer. Unlike Hiroshige, Kuniyoshi also uses yôfû shadows on the ground below the woman with a parasol in the foreground and her attendant. Rather than making the view more realistic, these shadows add to the ominous sense that the figures are about to plunge over a steep cliff. He has taken the gkatah of the saka and pushed it to the extreme of a gake.
8. Toranomon pp. 28-29.
8A. Katsushika Hokusai, "Shokoku taki-meguri: Tôto Aoigaoka
no taki." Tenpô 4 (1833) koro. [Lane,
1833-34, from ads;
8B. Naitô Notonokami kami-yashiki. Doro-e.
Views of the meisho gToranomonh almost never show the actual Toranomon gate, which stood another hundred meters to the left, east of what is now the Mombushô. The viewpoint here is facing northwest from in front of the entrance to Kompira Jinja, looking across at the seki where water passed into the Sotobori from the Tameike marsh that was its source. The location of the seki is today in the middle of Sotobori-dôri in front of the Tokyo Kurabu Biru. The gentle slope known as Aoizaka, seen to the left in the two views here, was levelled in the Meiji 10s to fill in Tameike; the site today is occupied by the Shôsen Mitsui Biru.
These two depictions show how very different the same site could appear in the eyes of different artists. Looking closely, one can identify the common elements, notably the tsujiban that stood both at the foot of Aoizaka at at its crest (known, as in Hokusaifs title, as Aoigaoka). But the whole conception is totally different. Appropriate to its place in his series gShokoku taki-meguri,h Hokusai has emphasized the waterfall, in a vertical composition that exaggerates the height of the fall and the steepness of the slope.
The doro-e, by contrast, emphasizes the site
as a broad horizontal vista of the sotobori and beyond it the kami-yashiki
of Naitô family of Nobeoka in Hyûga (Miyazaki-ken). Like
many doro-e, this was probably executed for a visiting samurai wishing a
picture of his domain yashiki. In place of the large
black roof inside the yashiki now looms the 36-story
9. Ochanomizu pp. 32-33.
9A. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Kanda Myôjin keidai yukibare no zu." Tenpô 11-13 (1840-43) koro. [Michener IV-23-A: Tenpô-matsu; KPM B387: Tenpô 11-13, 1840-43.]
9B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "
9C. Yushima Tenjin. Doro-e megane-e
We now move around the Sotobori to its northern
edge, known as the Kandagawa; although called a river, this is a manmade
watercourse, dug in the early
All meisho-e of Ochanomizu showed the valley
looking west and focused on four key visual elements: the deep gorge in the
center, the steep sakamichi to the right, the kakehi of the Kanda
jôsui that bridged the river about 150 meters east of Suidôbashi, and a distant
view of Mt. Fuji. (In fact, Fuji-san would probably
have been visible only near the top of the hill, around what is now the Juntendô
Byôin and the new
Different artists emphasized different features, as these three examples well reveal. Earliest is Shiba Kôkanfs, which is the closest to a jikkei, a view looking down Ochanomizu-zaka just east of the kakehi, with Suidôbashi in the center distance and Fuji close to its actual appearance above. Kôkan seems actually to have flattened out the saka to achieve a level, horizontal feel.
Totally different are the views of Eisen and
Kuniyoshi some fifty years later. Eisen, using the
tanzaku-e format, naturally stresses the deep valley, from a point near its
center. Kuniyoshi rather focuses on the steep slope
of Shôheizaka near the eastern end of the valley, showing it as an impossibly
sttep slope. Both greatly exaggerate the size and
direction of Fuji-san, as do so many meisho-e of
10. Kanda Myôjin, Yushima Tenjin pp. 30-31.
10A. Shiba Kô
10B. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, "Toto Fujimi 36-kei: Shôheizaka no enkei." Kôka gannen (1844) koro. [Suzuki, 28, date from nenpyo p. 264, could also be 1843; Taikan 5/59.]
10C. Keisai Eisen, "
North of Ochanomizu stood the two of the oldest
The common feature of both shrines, given their location along the southeast edge of the Hongô daichi, was the panoramic views that they offered. Hiroshigefs view of Kanda Myôjin emphasizes this aspect, showing not the front of the shrine, but its eastern side, from which the view of the city below was unobstructed. Guests of the chamise seen here were even provided with telescopes (tômegane) for closer inspection of the view over the city below, which appears here as a mass of gray roofs interrupted patches of green.
Yushima Tenshin was known more for its view to the northeast, over Shinobazu Pond and Ueno Hill, as seen in both views to the left. The doro-e provides a dramatic view of the eastern approach to the shrine by the straight Otoko-zaka stairway. As in many doro-e, samurai can be spotted by the projecting swords. In Hiroshigefs view below, we stand rather at the entrance to the shrine itself; the figures to the right have just mounted from Otokozaka, while those emerging in the center have come by way of the more gentle Onna-zaka. To the left, a plum tree in blooom reminds us both of Tenjin and of the Shôgatsu season, which is confirmed by the kites dancing in the sky.
11. Sumidagawa pp. 34-35.
11A. Shôtei Hokuju, "Bushû Senju ôhashi no kei." Tenpô shoki (1830-35) koro. [KPM I73: Bunsei; Hyakka dates this Yamamoto series as "Bunsei/Tenpô," but strong Prussian blue certainly argues for Tenpô.]
11B. Katsushika Hokusai, "
11C. Aôdô Denzen, "Massaki Inari Sumidagawa chôbô." Dôban, hissai. Bunka 2-14. (1805-14) koro.
11D. Keisai Eisen, "Edo Sumidagawa yuki no enkei." Tenpô shoki (1830-35) koro. [KPM B304: Tenpô shoki. Hard to tell of the blue here is beroai, but it has that look.]
At this point we abruptly shift course, and
begin to follow a long water route south along the Sumida river and then
along the shore of
The true gSumidagawa,h however, was centered in the area around the Hashiba Ferry, after the river made a wide curve south from Senju. This was the supposed site of the crossing of the Sumidagawa in Ise monogatari, giving rise to the famous poem gNa ni shi owaba iza koto towamu miyakodori waga omou hito wa ari ya nashi ya to.h Reflecting this tradition, most meisho-e of this area included the Hashiba Ferry and miyakodori, as we can see in the Hokusai and Eisen prints here; the season also, following the story, tended to be winter.
Further literary memories were added to this place by the story of Umewaka-maru in the Nô play gSumidagawa.h Although not often directly shown in meisho-e of the area, the location of the Umewaka-zuka at Mokuboji in the area seen in the distance on the east bank added to the poetic feeling of the place. Such literary connections often gave an abstract feel to meisho-e of the area, with little sense of a jikkei. Prints simply entitled gSumidagawah almost always depict this part of the river near Hashiba.
This was a real place, however, and had specific
attractions to lure
12. Imado, Matsuchiyama pp. 40-41.
12A. Toyoharu, "Ukie Mimeguri no zu." Meiwa (1764-1772) koro. [Shûka 15/118: no date proposed.]
12B. Shiba Kô
12C. Kitagawa Utamaro, untitled Gin sekai). Eiri kyôkabon. Kansei 2 (1790).
12D. Sôri [Katsushika Hokusai], "Mimeguri tanbo." Surimono. Kansei 6-10 (1794-98) koro. [TNM 3683; Sori dates from Asano.]
12E. Keisai Eisen, "
Continuing down the west bank of the Sumidagawa from Massaki Inari, we come to Imado-chô, famous for its tile kilns. This was for the most part a meisho seen only from afar, identified by the smoke rising from the kilns (as in 16A, 16B). In Kuniyoshifs view here, however, we see them close-up, a rare example of a meisho-e focused on men at work. As in all Kuniyoshi views of this style, there is something other-worldly about the scene, in the lumpy black form of the center kiln that seems to echo the lofty peaks of Tsukuba-san in the distance, or in the tiny lone white figure in the center distance.
After continuing south past Imado-chô, one arrived at Imado-bashi, which spanned the Sanyabori where it flowed into the Sumida. This was an important junction through which many visitors on their way to the Yoshiwara by boat would pass. It was also a place of entertainment in its own right, with teahouses and ryôtei lining Sanfyabori--including the famous Yaozen. on either side of the bridge overlooking the river. This activity is suggested by the white patches of light in Hiroshigefs uchiwa-e of Imadobashi. Most views of Imadobashi tend to be in autumn or winter, often in the evening, and this is no exception, a gYauh scene from a hakkei series. From its shape, this print is described as an guchiwa-e,h but it was doubtful that such a fine work was really intended to be made into a fan.
In the same Hiroshige view, there looms to the upper left the hill known as Matsuchiyama, with Shôtengû shrine on the top. The hill is said to have been made from earth use in digging Sanfyabori, and was often used as a mejirushi for boats travelling along the Sumida. In meisho-e, this particular view, of Matsuchiyama paired with Imadobashi was seen from the river, became a standard pattern.
Hokusaifs view from the gSumidagawa ryôgan ichiranh (see pp. 42-43) gives us a glimpse, unusual in meisho-e, of the precincts of Shôtengû shrine itself. He has deformed the river so that it seems to curve around the shrine, giving a sense of the panoramic view of the Sumida for which the shrine was known.
Still another vantage point is offered by the doro-e to the lower left, seen from the inner side of Imadobashi and looking out over the Sumidagawa. It is a winter scene (most views of this area, as here, tended to be in autumn, winter, or rain), and restaurants stretch out to either side. Looking over to the far side of the river, we can make out the red of a shrine building, and to its left the top of a torii. This is Mimeguri Shrine, to which we must now turn for a closer inspection.
13. Mimeguri DOUBLE SPREAD pp. 36-39.
13A. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, "Tôto meisho: Asakusa Imado." Tenpô shoki (1831-33) koro. [Taikan
13/A31; Hakka 7;
13B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Matsuchiyama no momiji" Sumidagawa ryôgan ichiran). Ehon. Kyôwa 1 (1801) ka, Bunka 3 (1806) ka.
13C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto hakkei: Matsuchiyama yau." Aiban. Michener IV-8-B; Tenpô chûki (1835-39) koro. [PROBLEM: Suzuki gives "chûki" in catalog, but English list gives 1839 in English list].
13D. Imado no watashi yuki no kei. Doro-e.
Now we have crossed over from Imadobashi to the other side of the Sumida, to the area known as gMukôjima,h the gislandh beyond the Sumida, suggesting its isolated nature. This view by Toyoharu is the earliest meisho-e of Mimeguri, and offers a wonderful panorama looking up the river. In the distance to the left are Tsukuba-san and the smoke of the Imado kilns; on this side of the river is a high dote--shown here as curved, but in fact straight. Small figures descend the steps from the embankment, pass under the white torii, and proceed to the shrine on the right, marked by tall Inari banners. A red torii visible beyond marks Ushijima Jinga, while in the foreground, farmers work in the paddies, a sign of the pastoral nature of the area.
All four views here show Mimeguri in very different
styles and from different angles. The one common focus
is the familiar torii, which can be seen in each view. In
Shiba Kôkanfs dôbanga of Tenmei 3 (1783)--well-known as the first dôbanga
to be made in
In the view from Utamarofs ehon Gin-sekai, we have the same view from the river, with only the kasagi of the torii visible above the embankment. It is a lyrical snow scene, devoid of any other sense of place.
In the two views by Hokusai and Eisen, we have descended the embankment to stand near the torii itself. The horizontality of Hokusaifs surimono emphasizes the pastoral scene of ta-ue. Eisen, by contrast, uses a vertical hashira-e that stresses the height of the torii, which is used to frame his own object of interest, a bijin visiting the shrine at hanami time.
14. gSumidagawa Ryôgan Ichiranh pp. 42-43.
From series: Katsushika Hokusai, Sumidagawa ryôgan ichiran. Ehon. Kyôwa 1 (1801) ka, Bunka 3 (1806) ka.
14A. "Shubi no matsu no tsuribune / Shii-no-ki no yûzemi"
14B. "Kayadera no taka-tôrô / Oumayagashi noriai"
14C. "Komakata no yûbae / Tada Yakushi no kôgan"
This is an appropriate point, as we continue our trip down the Sumida, to introduce a famous work of Hokusai that shows a depiction of a continous view moving along the river, much like an emakimono. In fact, such an emakimono print had been done by the little-known artist Tsuruoka Rosui in Tenmei gannen (1781). Hokusaifs work, however. which appeared twenty-odd years later, however, is a sasshibon in 3 volumes, so that even though the views are connected, they are intended to be seen one at a time.
Hokusai began his journey at Takanawa and proceeded
on up the Sumida to Massaki Inari, concluding with a final scene of the Yoshiwara. The view is from the west bank looking across, so that
we move up the river from right to left. Of the paired
titles, the first represents the foreground, the second the more distant
view. As in all meisho-e, there is a seasonal emphasis,
proceeding in order from gantan at Takanawa to toshi no
Here are three consecutive views out of a total of twenty-four, from the middle volume, showing the area between Ryôgokubashi and Azumabashi. First is a summer fishing party (fig. 14A). The overhanging pine is the gShubi no matsuh of the title, a tree located at the end of the middle pier of the bakufu Asakusa rice granaries. It was said that visitors to the Yoshiwara would pause here to report ggood resultsh after an evening visit.
Continuing directly to the left (the two linked
by the oar of the boatman), we see the gKayadera no taka-tôrôh of the title
projecting up above a temple roof and piercing the frame above. Such taka-tôrô were displayed at Obon.
Hokusaifs real interest is in the watashibune at O-Umayagashi, filled
with an interesting assortment of
15. Ryôgokubashi TRIPLE SPREAD pp. 44-49.
15A. Okumura Masanobu, "Ryôgokubashi yûsuzumi ukie kongen." Beni-e. Enkyô (1744-48) koro. [
15B. Suzuki Harunobu, "Ryôgokubashi sekishô" (Fûryû Edo hakkei). Chûban. Meiwa 5 (1768) koro. [Shûka 17/67: ca. Meiwa 5 = 1768].
15C. Toyoharu, "Ukie Tôto Ryôgokubashi yûsuzumi no zu." Meiwa (1764-1772) koro. [Taikan 4/73.]
15D. Shiba Kô
15E. Aôdô Denzen, "Ryôgokubashi natsu yoru zu." Dôban, hissai. Bunka 2-14. (1805-14) koro.
15F. Keisai Eisen, "
15H. Chôbunsai Eishi, "Ryôgoku kyôka nôryôsen." Gomai-tsuzuki. Kansei (1789-1801) koro. [List at end of Shûka 8: no help with date.]
15G. Utagawa Toyokuni, five-sheet, "
Ryôgokubashi in summer was the most lively sakariba
of the latter half of the
Masanobufs uki-e view below is an early depiction. The primary interest is in the assortment of activities going on in the foreground zashiki, but the enkei provides revealing details that would often reappear later. Beyond the bridge to the upper left we see Asakusa Kannon and a ferry, and at the east end the hirokôji activity. In the center of the river, a group bathes at the mizu-koriba, while a figure in a boat sets off hand-held fireworks. By the time of Harunobu (fig. 15B) twenty years later, the most familiar view was of the western end of the bridge, seen here with a foreground zashiki that is not in any particular place.
The following pages show first a variety of Ryôgokubashi yû-suzumi views, two in yôfû copperplate and two in ukiyo-e style. The Kôkan view alone is a day scene, looking to a vast horizon where one can pick out Asakusa Kannon and the Imado kilns. The other three all feature evening fireworks, each expressed in an utterly different way. In all, the river and the bridge provide the basic structure.
And the pages after show two gomai-tsuzuki of Ryôgoku as a set for fûzoku. Eishifs Kansei work depicts bijin engaged funa-asobi, with a detailed portrait of three types of boats: the small chokibune to lower right, a larger yane-bune to the left, and the huge yakata-bune gHyôgomaruh in the center. In Toyokunifs version of the Bunsei period [check] below, we see the row of chamise in the east hirokôji, together with the misemono and shops (including an ezôshiya displaying nishiki-e prints to the far left). This is quite literally a gstage,h since on looking more closely, we notice that many of the figures are in fact actors. From the faces and details, they would be immediately recognizable to Toyokunifs audience.
16. Nakazu-Mitsumata pp. 50-51.
16A. Kitao Shigemasa, "Ukie éhashi Nakazu yû suzumi no zu." An'ei (1772-81) koro. ([Shûka 10/107: no date proposed. Publ. Matsumura. Tim Clark in Kokka article says latter half of 70s.]
16B. Ryûryûkyo Shinsai (mukan), "Eitaibashi." Bunka (1804-18) koro. [Taikan 9/230: Naito gives "Kyowa-Bunka." Hyakka 8/p94 also gives "Kyôwa-Bunka" for this sort. But I think recent work on Hokusai would push it up to Bunka.]
16C. Katsushika Hokusai, "Takahashi no
We now move further south along the Sumida, passing under Shin-Ohashi and reaching the point where the Onagigawa joins from the east. Hokusaifs view on the left looks west along the Onagigawa, which was a major artery in the canal system east of the Sumida. The foreground bridge is Takahashi, which is shown true to its name, and in the distance Mannenbashi, at the junction with the Sumida. This is a good example of Hokusaifs distinctive enkinhô.
Shinsaifs view here is from mid-river facing downstream, just below where the Onagigawa had joined. This point is known as gMitsumata,h where the main flow curves to the left on to Eitaibashi in the distance, while a smaller channel to the right became the Hakozakigawa (now the site of the Tokyo City Air Terminal). This created a triangular island in the middle known as Eikyûjima, of which we see the northern tip in Shinsaifs view; the buildings are part of the shimo-yashiki of the Tayasu Tokugawa family.
The river foreground in Shinsaifs view is peaceful
and empty, but if we had turned the clock back some twenty years, we would
have seen the lively scene depicted by Shigemasa below. Here
we face upstream, with Shin-Ohashi in the distant. The
street to the left, lined with yoshizu-bari chamise on one side and two-storied
restaurants on the other, is actually a small island (about 3 ha) known as
Nakazu, constructed at the start of the Anfei period. It
17. Suzaki Benten, Tsukudajima pp. 52-53.
17A. Utagawa Toyohiro, "
17B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Suzaki yuki no asa." Ehangire, 16x51 cm. Tenpô 10-11
(1839-40) koro. [
17C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Eitaibashi Tsukudajima" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857).
Finally we have come to the mouth of the
For a more detailed view of Tsukudajima itself,
we may turn to Hiroshigefs teacher Toyohiro, in this leaf from an
One other important meisho lay to the east of
the mouth of the Sumida, along the southern
18. Takanawa pp. 54-55.
18A. Torii Kiyohiro, "On-Daimyo gyôretsu Shinagawa no fûkei." Benizuri-e. Hôreki [1751-64] koro. [Hyakka 3/243.]
18B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto meisho: Takanawa no yûkei." Tenpô 3-10 (1832-39) koro.
18C. Kuwagata Keisai (Kitao Masayoshi), "Shinagawa" Sansui ryakugashiki). Ehon. Kansei 12 (1800). [Pulverer catalog, 3-39.]
The splendid view below provides us with an
ichiran of the next stretch of water to cover, along
As a placename gTakanawah covered a long stretch
on either side of the Tokaido north of Shinagawa, but as a meisho the two
inevitable details were the Okido and the oxcarts of nearby Ushimachi; both
may be seen in all three views here. The Okido was
the formal entrance to the city of
Hiroshigefs view is of essentially the same place as Toyohiro, although he has moved in a bit closer. Comparing the two, we can see how much the expression [hyôgen] of meisho-e had changed in the space of some 80 years, with Hiroshige adding a strong sense of time of day, but the essential character of this stretch of the Tôkaidô remains much the same.
19. Shinagawa pp. 56-57.
19A. Furuyama Moromasa, "Shinagawa shiohi no zu." Beni-e. Enkyô (1744-48) koro. [Shûka: ca. Hôei-Enkyô (1704-48), much too early.]
19B. Torii Kiyonaga, "
19C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Shinagawa Hinode" (Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi no uchi). Tenpô 4-5 (1833-34) koro. [Hoeidô-ban.]
The three views here each focus on a different aspect of Shinagawa. The oldest, by Moromasa below, is of shiohi-gari, a popular activity during the low tides (ô-shio) of Third Month all along Edo Bay but especially so from Shinagawa to Takanawa. The location here is probably north of the Shinagawa settlement, at one of the many zashiki along the shore. In the far distance among the clouds are the roofs of Suzaki Benten (cf. fig. 17B) and Tsukiji Honganji.
The details of shiohi-gari in Moromasafs uki-e are wonderful: one man to the upper right struggles with a large octopus as another approaches to help, a group of women and children in the center search among a variety of shells on the ground; below them, a boat with a man fanning a charcoal grill advertises dengaku and kabayaki; and to the left, a maid holds a tray out to a man to receive his fresh-caught hirame.
The second key face of Shinagawa was the yûkaku that flourished there, here nicely captured in Kiyonagafs view from a hakkei series, the gKihanh theme expressed in the sails on the distant horizon. Two guests are being entertained by a geisha, taikomochi, kamuro, and yûjo, while two more yûjo wait seductively to the left. The poem around the dansen frame reads, gShinagawa ya / nami ni makasete / yoru shiho no / kumoma o wakite / sashishi [?] tsuribune.h
The final aspect of Shinagawa was its practical
function as the first shukueki on the Tôkaidô leading out of
20. Gotenyama pp. 58-59.
20A. Katsushika Hokusai, Tôkaidô Shinagawa Gotenyama no
20B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto hakkei: Gotenyama no yûzakura." Yotsugiri. Tenpô shonen (1830-32) koro. [Michener and Suzuki: Tenpô shonen; English says "ca 1830."]
Gotenyama was a hill above Shinagawa-juku that
was known for it cherry blossoms and the fine view out over
Hokusaifs view is from his famous Fugaku
36-kei series, and is included among the ten views known as gura-Fujih
that were added after the first 36 were completed, presumably from popular
demand. The snowy
Hiroshigefs is one of over 30 views that he did of Gotenyama, this one in the small yotsugiri size (one fourth of an ôban, about 17 cm wide), which explains the rough execution. The view is enclosed in a sensu-gata waku, and around it appears Hatchinteifs kyôka, gHana no koro / yado-sagari tote / kôin no / yanoji musubi mo / miru Gotenyama.h
21. Atagoyama pp. 60-61.
21A. Torii Kiyonaga, "
21B. Aôdô Denzen, "Atagoyama chôbô no zu." Dôban, hissai. Bunka 2-14. (1805-14) koro.
21C. Keisai Eisen, "
Now we begin a new circuit clockwise around
The three images here are from Tenmei, Bunka,
and Tenpô, separated by about twenty years each and differing in expression,
but all showing the same essential character of place: the forested precincts
of Atago Gongen sha and chamise lining the bluff for the fine view to the
east and south. Kiyonaga (fig. 21A) and Eisen (fig.
21C) are similar in showing Atagoyama as gshûgetsuh in a hakkei, with the
full moon shining over
Very different is Aôdô Denzen (fig. 21B)fs dôbanga in the yôfû style. Here all is more quiet and composed, with none of the lyricism or interest in custom (fûzoku shumi?) of the ukiyo-e artists. The chôbô itself is even more obscure than in Kiyonaga or Eisen, seen only by looking closely thru the poles of a chamise. But looking still more closely, we discover that a row of tiny katakana names (invisible even on the original without a magnifying glass) just outside the upper left margin lists the various places one could actually see from here. There are two groups, the meisho to the south (Takanawa, Zôjôji, Shiba Shinmei, etc.), and the lords of the yashiki that lay in Atago-no-shita daimyô koji below to the east.
22. Zôjôji, Shiba Shinmei pp. 62-63.
22A. Utagawa Hiroshige, "
22B. Toyoharu, "Shiba Shinmei sairei zu."
Yotsugiri. Meiwa (1764-1772) koro. [
22C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto meisho: Shiba Zôjôji setchû no zu." Kaei shoki (1847-52). [KPM B358: Kaei shoki; assume censor seals.]
Zôjôji lies about one kilometer further south from Atagoyama, and was known as the bodaiji of the shogunal family and site of its tombs (reibyô). Unlike Ueno Kanfeiji, the other bodaiji to the north with its famous cherries (see pp. 14-17), it had few seasonal attractions to encourage visits by ordinary people, so meisho-e focused largely on the view from the outside, especially the imposing Sanmon. It was built (konryû) in Genna 8 (1622) and is today the only reminder of Zôjôji past grandeur, the sole survivor of 1945 bombing of the temple. Hiroshige (fig. 22C) here shows the Sanmon in falling snow, obscured by the pines in front.
But in another Hiroshige view (fig. 22A), we are given an unusual view from the Sanmon, which is as the title says gSanmon-jô yori shichû o chôbô suru no zu.h Judging from the uchiwa and sensu held by the viewers on the balcony, and the parasols in the street below, the time is summer. The view below allows is a glimpse, through the railing of the Zôjôji Daimon, the sandô iriguchi, now rebuilt and standing in the middle of the road.
Also prominent in the view from the Sanmon is Shiba Shinmei (labelled gShinmeishah), an important neighboring meisho, with its distinctive shimei-zukuri chigi. This was an old shrine, warmly supported by the bakufu, but its popular fame was the Shimmeisai of 9th month, 11-21 (known for its length as the gDaradara-matsurih). We are given a rare early view of the festival by Toyoharu (fig. 22B), a small yotsugiri print filled with fine detail. The festival was known for the sale of shôga, and here we see a seller squatting to the right, and man on the left with a bunch in his hand.
23. Meguro Fudô pp. 64-65.
23A. Toyoharu, "Meguro Fudô no zu." Yotsugiri. Meiwa (1764-1772) koro. [Taikan, 13/A15.]
23B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Meguro" Tôto shôkei ichiran). Ehon. Kansei 12 (1800) koro.
23C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "
From Zôjôji we have moved some five kilometers
southwest, beyond the Megurogawa that defined the gshubikinaih limits of
The three images here reveal the way in which meisho-e tended to become more simplified as time passed, eliminating extraneous detail to focus on pure landscape. Toyoharufs view (fig. 23A) is the earliest, and although small (yotsugiri) and the colors simple, the detail is very rich, showing the central axis proceeding from torii to Niômon and up the otoko-zaka to the Hondô above, with the temizuya, Koridô and taki on the left and Awashima-sha and onna-zaka on the right. We can also count fifty varied figures and three dogs.
In Hokusaifs ehon version (fig. 23B) of about 1800, we have zoomed into just the waterfall and Otokozaka, with a corner of the Niômon on the lower right, and only fourteen figures--strangely, all men! Still another thirty years later, Hiroshige (fig. 23C) has pulled back to dramatize the three essential gkatah of the Dokko no taki, Niômon, and Otokozaka. The number of figures is the same as Hokusai, but they are much smaller, emphasizing the place over the fûzoku.
24. Inokashira, Koganei, Tamagawa pp. 66-67.
24A. Utagawa Hiroshige,"Inokashiranoike Benten no yashiro" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 3 (1856).
24B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Meisho setsugekka: Koganei-zutsumi no hanazakari." Tenpô 11-13 (1840-43) koro. [KPM F203: Tenpô 11-13.]
24C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "
A glance at these three images shows that we
are far out of the city of
All three places here are linked to
Koganei (fig. 24B) lay along the Tamagawa Jôsui,
which was constructed in Jôô 2-3 (1653-54) to supplement the Kanda Jôsui
and continued to supply most of the cityfs water until the Shôwa 40s. Some 10,000 cherry trees were planted in the Kyôhô period
along much of its course to reinforce the embankment. The
Most distant was the Tamagawa (fig. 24C), the southern border of the Musashino, an ancient utamakura and as one of the gMu-Tamagawa,h a place with strong literary associations. It was not a single spot, but a long stretch along the middle of the river, the northern bank of current Fuchû, Chôfu, and Komae cities. As a seasonal meisho, it was known in the summer for its ayu fishing and in the autumn for moon-viewing: gtsuki no mizu ni utsureru wa hitoshiho nari tote, yûkyaku kono kawara ni atsumari, omoiomoi no kyô o soete tsuki o nagamu.h Hiroshige here offers both the moon and fishing in a lyrical masterpiece that combines both Tamagawa as utamakura and as meisho.
25. Oji pp. 68-69.
25A. Utagawa Kunisada, "Oranda abura-e fû: Oji Gongen Inari
ryôsha." Bunsei kôki (1825-30) koro. [
25B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Oji Otonashigawa entai, sezoku Otaki to tonau" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857).
25C. IBID, "Oji Fudô no taki" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857). 49.
25D. IBID, "Oji Takinogawa" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 3 (1856).
25E. IBID, "Oji Shôzoku enoki" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857).
Now we shift to northern kinkô, and a series
of meisho that run along the long narrow takadai (daichi?) that stretches
from Oji southeast to Ueno, along the base of which the Keihin Tôhokusen
runs today. About six kilometers long, it was known
for its fine views, to
Oji marked the place where the Shakujii-gawa
cut through the takadai to flow on to join the Arakawa, leaving a scenic
topography of the steep river valleys, waterfalls, and bluffs. Hiroshige offered a variety of views of this area in his
late masterpiece, the Meisho Edo hyakkei, of which four are shown
here. Three show a progression down the Shakujii-gawa,
starting at Takinogawa (fig. 25D), looking downstream, a place known for
its autumn maples. A bit further down, on south side
of the river, was
In addition to scenery, Oji offered an important focus of popular belief (shinkô) in the Oji Inari shrine, located a bit further north on the bluff, facing east. Kuniyoshi (fig. 25A) has here followed Kiyonagafs Ehon Monomigaoka for the depiction of the shrine, but the large bijin and karakusa border make it quite exotic. Very different is Hiroshigefs famous view of the Shôzoku Enoki (fig. 25E), the tree where the foxes would gather on ô-misoka before visiting the shrine, a masterpiece that captures the shinpiteki quality of the place.
26. Asukayama pp. 70-71.
26A. Torii Kiyonaga, "Asukayama no hanami" (kadai). Sanmai-tsuzuki. Tenmei 7 (1787) koro. [Taikan 10/118].
26B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Asukayama" Ehon Azuma asobi). Ehon. Kyôwa 2 (1801).
26C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto meisho: Asukayama manka no zu." Kôka (1843-47). [Michener IV-28-A. Late Tenpô--early Kôka.]
Asukayama lay just south of Oji as the takadai
continued south of the
These historical origins in effect became part of the appearance of the place in the form of the stone stele gAsukayama hih on which the jusha Narushima Dôchiku recorded its yurai. Six shaku eight sun tall and six shaku-amari wide, this stone was placed in a prominent location and became over time an emblem of the place itself. It is seen in all of the three pictures here, and there is scarcely a meisho-e of Asukayama without it.
In Hokusaifs view (fig. 26B), groups of figures
are scattered through the landscape of Asukayama, all of which is hemmed
in by genji-gumo clouds, perhaps in reference to the poem of Akizato Ritô,
author of the Miyako meisho zue: gTobu tori no Asuka no yama no sakura
hana fig. kumo o idete wa kumo ni hairan.h In Kiyonagafs view (fig. 26A), we are clearly facing
east over the rice paddies below, and one tiny figure is even peering through
a telecope. The foreground group of bijin and children
are set apart as on a stage. Hiroshige (fig. 26C)
provides a view in the opposite direction, towards
27. Dôkanyama, Higurashi no sato pp. 72-73.
27A. Katsushika Hokusai, "Nippori" Ehon Azuma asobi). Ehon. Kyôwa 2 (1801).
27B. Shôtei Hokuju, "Dôkanyama no zu." Chûban. Bunka (1804-18) koro. [
27C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto meisho: Dôkanyama mushikiki no zu." Tenpô 11-13 (1840-43) koro. [KPM F280: Tenpô 11-13 koro.]
These two meisho are among those of which almost no trace remains today, both having been sacrificed to development since late Meiji. Dôkanyama was a continuation of the takadai leading south from Asukayama, a stretch of about 500 meters north from the present Nishi-Nippori station, in which is now Nishi-Nippori 4-chôme. Hokuju here (fig. 27B) shows the view from the rice paddies below, with a chamise on the hill above. This yôfû style is remarkable for seeming at once so primitive and so modern.
The real fame of Dôkanyama as a meisho was for
mushikiki, since the area remained quite wild, with high grasses that would
invite insects. This is the theme of Hiroshigefs view
(fig. 27C), which is copied after the view in the
Continuing still further south from Daikanyama
was Nippori (in
28. Fukagawa, Honjo pp. 74-75.
28A. Utagawa Toyokuni, "Shinpan uki-e Fukagawa Hachimangû
no zu." Kansei (1790-1801) koro. [
28B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Honjo Tatekawa" (Fugaku sanjûrokkei). Tenpô 1-3 (1830-32) koro. [Forrer: ca. 1835.]
28C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Fukagawa Kiba" Ehon
Now we move east, across the
The Fukagawa-Honjo area was criss-crossed by
a checkerboad pattern of waterways, along which were many mokuzai okiba,
an unusual type of meisho. Hiroshige (fig. 28C) shows
the Kiba east of Hachimangû in a lyrical snow scene from his lovely Ehon
Edo miyage; as the text explains, gKono hen zaimokuya no sono ooki ni
yori, na o kiba to iu; sono enchû onoono sansui no nagame arite, fûryû no
chi to shôseri.h Hokusai (fig. 28B) by contrast was
not interested in the beauty of the landscape, but in the details of men
at work, an unusual emphasis in fûkeiga. The place
is in the Honjo district north of Fukagawa, probably around Aioi-chô, facing
southwest across the Tatekawa for a view of
29. Gohyaku Rakan pp. 76-77.
29A. Kitao Shigemasa ka, "Honjo Gohyaku Rakan." Meiwa (1764-72) koro. Ehon no ichimai.
[From Ehon Edo sakura?
29B. Katsushika Hokusai, "Gohyaku Rakanji Sazaidô" (Fugaku sanjûrokkei). Tenpô 1-3 (1830-32) koro.
29C. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Tôto meisho: Gohyaku Rakan Sazaidô." Tenpô 3-10 (1832-39) koro. [Matsuki/Suzuki]
If we were to continue another 2-3 kilometers
east along the Tatekawa just seen in Hokusaifs view (fig. 28B), and then
walk south between the rice paddies for another 400 meters, we would arrive
at gKatô [kawa no higashi] dai-ichi no meiranh (
Rakanji became even more famous with the construction of a new buildings known as the Sazaidô, probably completed in Anfei 9 (1780). The Hiroshige view (fig. 29C) shows a view of the exterior from the south, with the Sômon to the right and the roof of the large Hondô in the distance beyond. It appears to be two stories, but inside there were in fact three levels, each containing 33 Kannon images that served as an utsushi of the Chichibu circuit on the bottom, Bandô circuit in the middle, and the original Saigoku circuit on the top. Thus a journey through the building, moving upwards by sloping ramps, provided the same merit as an actual pilgrimage through all three. A large Kannon-zô at the top brought the total to 100.
Having completed the interior pilgrimage, the
visitor then emerged onto the balcony, offering a beautiful view to the west
over the rice paddies below in the direction of
30. Kameido. pp. 78-79.
30A. Katsushika Hokusai, "Shokoku meikyô kiran: Kameido Tenjin
Taikobashi." Tenpô 5 (1834) koro.
[Forrer: "about 1833";
30B. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Kameido Tenjin keidai" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 3 (1856).
30D. Utagawa Hiroshige, "Kameido Umeyashiki" (Meisho Edo hyakkei). Ansei 4 (1857).
Kameido lay about the same distance from Ryôgokubashi
as Rakanji, north of the Tategawa and east of the Yoko-jukkengawa, both dug
as part of the opening of the Honjo area following the Meireki taika (1657). The two meisho seen here were famed as hanami meisho,
with Kameido Tenjin ranking first for
Kameido Tenmangû was founded just five years after the Meireki Fire, and like Dazaifu Tenmangû on which it was modelled, it had a shinji-ike in front, crossed by a taikobashi. At Kameido, there were two bridges, the first and steeper gotokobashih followed by a lower gonnabashi,h as clearly seen in Hokusai (fig. 30A). Hokusai was preoccupied exclusively with the form of the taikobashi, as one of eleven in the series gShokoku meikyô kiran,h and the fujidana behind to the right are flowerless. Hiroshige (fig. 30B), by contrast, looking from the opposite direction, cleverly combines the flowering wisteria with the bridge beyond.
Umeyashiki, just a short walk northeast of Kameido
Tenjin, was famous for the curious tree gGaryûbai.h As
31. Shibai-machi DBL SPREAD 80-83.
31A. Okumura Masanobu, "Sakai-chô Fukiya-chô shibaimachi ôukie" [kadai]. ô-ôban beni-e. Enkyô 2 (1745) koro. [Shûka I/121: possibly Kiyotada. Pulverer I-12: publ: assume Okumuraya. Provisional title from Kishi.]
31B. Keisai Eisen, "
31C. Utagawa Hiroshige II, "Tôto Saruwaka-chô," (Shokoku meisho hyakkei). Ansei 6 (1859). [NEED EXPERT TO CHECK ARATAME-IN; series 1859-64; this one can't say, est. 1859.]
31D. Okumura Masanobu, "Shibai kyôgen butai kaomise ô-ukie." Beni-e. ô-ôban. Enkyô 2-nen (1745) koro. [Shûka 4-28].
Finally we turn to the two great akusho
Another view by Masanobu of about the same period appears on the next pages (fig. 31A), but here showing rather the exterior keikan. From Kyôhô period on to Meiji, there were three kabuki theatres, the gsanza,h of which the two oldest, Nakamura-za and Ichimura-za, were located along the single street of Sakai-chô Fukiya-chô (now Ningyô-chô 3-chôme). (The Morita-za was in Kobiki-chô, some 2.5 km to the south, and rarely appeared in meisho-e.) Here Masanobu shows us the view from the Sakai-chô end, with the Nakamura-za on the right; the play on the kanban here enables dating of the keikan to early spring (shoshun) Enkyô 2 (1745). Further down on the same side in Fukiya-chô is the Ichimuraza, and on the left are three ayatsuri-ningyô-koya. Some eight years later, Eisen (fig. 31B) shows the same place but from the opposite direction, with Ichimura-za on the front left, an ayatsuri-za on the right, and Nakamura-za in the distance. The time is now autumn, at kaomise. It is intriguing to compare the two views to see what has changed, what has not.
Ten-odd years after Eisenfs print, on 10/7 of Tenpô 12 (1841), the Sakai-chô Fukiya-chô shibai-machi was destroyed by fire, and Mizuno Tadakuni, who had begun the Tenpô no kaikaku just five months before, refused to permit rebuilding on the same site. As a result, a new shibai-machi named Saruwaka-chô was constructed north of Asakusa Kannon, shown here by Hiroshige II (fig. 31C) in a view showing the three theaters in order of seniority on the west side of the machi: Nakamura, Ichimura, and Morita.
32. Shin-Yoshiwara DBL SPREAD 84-87.
32A. Okumura Masanobu, "Shin-Yoshiwara Omonguchi Nakanochô Ukie kongen." Beni-e. Enkyo (1744-48) koro. [Shûka 1/31: no date proposed; settled for general "Enkyo"?]
32B. Toyoharu, "Uki-e wakoku no keiseki On-zashiki imayô
Ne no hi asobi no zu." Meiwa (1764-1772) koro. [Shûka, 5/130: NOT YOSHIWARA, perhaps daimyo mansion.
32C. Katsushika Hokusai, "Nihon-zutsumi yori denchû o miru no zu." Aiban. Bunka (1804-18) koro. [KPM I4: chûban, Kyôwa. Asano doesn't treat; if earlier than stone wall, then ca. 1804; if later, like the mameban, then 1811-14. Lane gives 1803, but seems generally too early.]
32D. Utagawa Kunisada, "Hokkaku tsuki no yozakura." Tenpô (1830-43) koro. [
Here we conclude with our tour with the gokuh
On the next pages, Kunisada (fig. 32D) shows us the Omon almost one hundred years later in the Tempô period, now populated by a more ordinary class. Customs have also changed: those wishing to hide themselves use hô-kammuri instead of amigasa, and the new custom of yozakura has been introduced. Just for the hanami season, cherry trees were transplanted (netsuki no mama utsushi-ueta) and surrounded with a green bamboo fence, extending the length of Naka-no-chô. The Omon itself remains in the shisso style demanded by the authorities, with mayoke fuda from shrines and temples hung along the kasagi.
Views of the Shin-Yoshiwara from a greater distance almost always showed the approach along the 800-meter long dote known as the Nihonzutsumi. Hokusai here (fig. 32C) shows the view from the point where the paths from Imadobashi to the right, for those who came by boat, or from Asakusa by way of Umamichi, such as the well-to-do figure in a kago here. Along the dote we can see a long row of chaya in the distance, the so-called amigasa chaya where one could rent an amigasa to hide the face and make prior arrangements for the yûkaku. Looking more closely still between the chaya and the dense settlement of the Yoshiwara to the left, we can pick out the shape of a drooping willow, the famous Mikaeri-yanagi that lay along the Emonzaka from the dote to the Omon by which visitors would return the morning after. Utamaro (fig. 32E) here provides us with a more intimate view looking in on the second floor of a hikite chaya within the Shin-Yoshiwara, where the guest is being entertained by a three seated figures: kamuro, oiran, geisha; standing is probably the chaya no nyôbô. In the distance, we see the Nihonzutsumi, and the moon rising just over the great roof of Asakusa Kannon.
33. Hiroshige II Sugoroku map of all
33A. Utagawa Hiroshige II, "