ROUGH DRAFT, text of Ukiyo-e ni miru Edo no meisho.  Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1993.


NOTE:  This text was written for translation, so is not entirely natural in English, and includes a number of Japanese terms that are used without further explanation.  Also, since it was written for Japanese readers, it assumes a certain basic knowledge about Edo and its geography.  Numerous small changes were also made in the process of translation, including the correction of various errors, which are not reflected in this draft.  Hopefully I can eventually produce a version that works better for English-language readers.



            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 grealh Edo.  The urban landscape of gEdoh that we see in our minds today nevertheless remains vivid, thanks to the many ukiyo-e landscape prints of the city that we see over and over again.  For us, the colorful and idealized Edo landscape prints have become the grealh Edo.

            Books and exhibitions of Edo meisho-e until now have largely tended to be organized chronologically, by artist.  For this gVisual Bookh series, however, I thought it might be revealing to organize these prints spatially, by individual meisho.  It seems rather obvious and perhaps even simple-minded, but for some reason it has never been done before.

            The surprise when Edo meisho-e are arranged by place is the amazing diversity of expression by different artists.  By cutting across space rather than time, we have in each meisho a cross-section of the history of Edo meisho-e.  We can appreciate not only the diversity of personal styles, but the rich combination of both symbolic and descriptive realistic elements that went into these images.  The personal styles are so diverse that at first glance one would not realize that the same place is depicted. 

            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 ggestalth (in Japanese, gkatah) 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/katah 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 gkatah that matters.  Rather they enable the artist to engage in wonderfully diverse expressions of the human detail of each place.  Edo ukiyo-e artists were highly observant, and introduced a great deal of rich descriptive detail into their images.  These are pictures that deserve very close and careful inspection, since there are always new things to be learned from the fine details, both about the particular place and about Edo customs.  It may even be useful to take a magnifying glass to probe the fine details.  This is the great pleasure of Edo meisho-e: the dramatic gkatah and the fine detail.



            gMeishoh 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 sitesh (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 mamah realism in prints of gseeing things just as the eye does (me de mita mama)h was introduced to Japan in the eighteenth century.  This was Western linear perspective (perspective), which made it possible to create the illusion of a view as seen by a standing observer looking at a scene from a fixed point.  The technique appeared first and most dramatically in architecture, where it enabled showing in one image both ceiling and floor of an interior, or the exteriors of both sides of a street.  In time a horizon (suiheisen) was drawn, and blue skies with clouds in them, both novelties in Japanese pictures.  In short, certain basic elements of Western glandscapeh were introduced to Japan, and the result was what art historians later came to call the gJapanese landscape printh (Nihon fûkei hanga).h 

            Of course, perspective did not operate in Japan the same way it did in the West where it was discovered.  No Japanese artists of the Edo period, with the possible exception of the copperplate artist Aôdô Denzen (see fig. 13), seem to have understood the mathematical rules of perspective. They probably were not even interested, since they considered it a mere technique, not a scientific system.  Hence perspective was as often used for dramatic constructivist effects as for creating resemblance to the actual scene depicted.

            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 Edo landscape pictures (meisho-e): it is almost impossible to find a picture in this volume in which the season is not obvious.  An interest in customs (fûzoku) remains strong, and figures are prominent in all meisho-e.  Many landscape prints also continued to function hand in hand with poetry, and in fact ten percent of all the images in this volume include kyôka within them.  The tradition of ghakkeimono,h which began in Chinese gEight Views of Hsiao and Hsiang (Shôshô hakkei) landscapes and developed in Japan as the gEight View of Ômi (Ômi hakkei), also served as a poetic framework for Edo meisho-e.  In this volume, fully 13 are from series of geight views.h

           In this way, the story of the Edo meisho-e, spanning about one hundred years from the mid-18th to mid-19th century, is one of the constant interaction between the older Japanese sense of gmeishoh and the new pictorial space enabled by western perspective. Neither one ever dominates, and the resulting combinations are rich in diversity.  It is in an effort to capture these two parallel elements that the English term glandscape ƒ‰ƒ“ƒhƒXƒP[ƒvh has been attached to gEdo meishoh as furigana in the title of this volume.

            Here let us quickly survey the major stages in the history of the Japanese landscape print.  Before the Edo period, Japan had two major traditions of depicting the natural environment, that of the Chinese gsansuigah and that of the background in Yamato-e.  Both tended to a high angle of view and rejected a fixed viewpoint.  In the emerging print culture of early Edo, pictures of the urban landscape appeared earliest in the illustrations of gmeishokih (figs. 1, 2), but the details were greatly simplified, and the figures proportionately large.  A century later in a sumizuri guide to Edo meisho by Shigenaga (fig. 3), the figures are reduced in size, and the scenery itself is more detailed. 

            This tradition of sumizuri picture books of Edo meisho reached a climax in the Tenpô period in the extremely detailed illustrations by Hasegawa Settan for the Edo meisho zue (fig. 4).  As clear from fig. 4, this remained a relatively conservative tradition in terms of pictorial space, using the high viewpoint and gGenji cloudsh of the Yamato-e tradition.  This lineage of sumizuri meisho picture books has been omitted from this volume, but should be borne in mind as a rich source of descriptive detail on the meisho of Edo.  Indeed, many ukiyo-e artists regularly turned to such printed books as sources of information for their single-sheet landscape designs.  .

            The real revolution in Edo meisho-e came rather with the sudden appearance of Western perspective in a new type of single-sheet print known as guki-e.h  Often translated misleadingly into English as gfloating picturesh (and thereby inviting confusion with the word gukiyo-e,h to which it is wholly unrelated), the term means gpictures in which things seem to float up to the surface,h that is, in which the foreground somehow gpops outh of the pictorial space. The word itself appears on various prints that may be dated to the 1740s in which linear perspective is used for architecture, both interiors and street views.  In these first uki-e, of which Masanobu was the most skillful artist and possible originator (as implied in the guki-e founderh [uki-e kongen] appearing in the titles of figs. 55 and 116), a horizontal frame outlined the image, with written information appearing outside the frame.  This sense of framing was to be basic to the Edo landscape print thereafter.

            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 printh (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-eh 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 into Edo in the An'ei-Tenmei period (1772-89) by the way of Rangaku scholars who had direct access to Western books.  The crucial figure for landscape prints was Shiba Kôkan, who in 1783 produced Japan's first copperplate etching, a view of Mimeguri (fig. 48).  All of Kôkan's copperplate meisho-e were gmegane-e,h made for use in a reflecting-style optique (fig. 5 is one made by Kôkan himself), a viewing device that was first brought to Japan in the Hôreki period [1751-63], when Maruyama Ôkyo in Kyoto made various designs of Kyoto landscapes for it.  Since the image was reflected through a mirror in order to keep the pictures flat, it was necessary to reverse the image of the actual scene.  In this volume, all such megane-e have been shown reversed, as intended to be seen in a mirror-equipped optique, and thus showing the correct orientation of the places depicted.  Here fig. 6 shows Kôkan's view of Ryôgokubashi as seen directly, in comparison with fig. 58, which is reversed.

            This new gwestern-styleh (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-westernh 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 Edo.  They are notable for the generous use of Prussian blue in skies, which dates them to Tenpô and after.  Of the six in this volume, three have reversed images, indicating they were intended for a reflecting optique. 

            Apart from these gwesternh styles, little further innovation occurred in Edo landscape prints until the Bunsei period (1820s), when two notable developments appeared.  One was a new consciousness of framing, an element which can be seen early in such pseudo-western works as fig. 65 by Shinsai.  Now innovative frames are used by the two major artists of beautiful women (bijinga) in the Bunsei era, Kunisada and Eisen.  Some consist of exotic frames around the picture, (figs. 24, 89), while others feature small meisho-e as gkoma-eh inserts inside  a bijinga (fig. 7).  This consciousness of framing probably stimulated the compositional experiments that were soon to appear in landscape prints.           

            The other innovation is the use of the imported pigment Prussian blue (gberoaih), 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. Fujih (Fugaku sanjûrokkei), which was followed within the space of three or four years by Hiroshige's gFifty-Three Stages of the Tôkaidôh (Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi) and Kuniyoshi's gFamous Places of the Eastern Capitalh (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 Edo landscape prints were produced by Hiroshige alone, whose total production of Edo landscapes was well over 1000 prints, perhaps two-thirds of all single-sheet Edo meisho-e ever produced.  After Tenpô, Hiroshige's landscapes became increasingly stereotyped, with the notable exception of his last great series, gOne Hundred Famous Views of Edoh ( Meisho Edo hyakkei).  With the death of Hiroshige in Ansei 5 (1858), the history of the Edo landscape print comes to a close.



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 Edo meisho-e.  The order in which they are presented begins with the two most popular, Asakusa and Ueno, then proceeds geographically in three stages: first a circuit (isshû?) around the sotobori of Edo Castle, then a journey down the Sumida River from Senju and along Edo Bay to Shinagawa, and then a second circuit among kinkô no meisho.  At the end come the gokuh of Edo, the two akusho of shibaimachi and Shin-Yoshiwara. 

3.         The artists were chosen to represent all major figures in the history of the Edo landscape prints, in rough proportion to the quality of their work. 

4.         The original size unless otherwise indicated is ôban (roughly 26x39 cm). 


1.         Edo zenzu   pp. 8-9.    448 ji.

1A.      Kuwagata Keisai (Kitao Masayoshi): "Edo meisho no e."  42x58 cm.  Kyôwa 3 (1803) koro. 

            Here we stand surveying Ô-Edo in what today is called a gbirdfs-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 gGreat River,h the heart of Edo popular pleasures and outings.  It is spanned by its four great bridges: Azumabashi to the right, Ryôgokubashi, Shin-Ohashi, and Eitaibashi.

            Despite the appearance of a unified gichiranzu,h the actual title appearing on the fukuro was gEdo meisho no e.h  And when one looks very closely, there are in fact a great number of specific places indicated in tiny katakana--a total of over 260 names. 

            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, "Edo meisho-zukushi: Kinryûzan Sensôji."  Man'en gannen (1860).  [KPM B314: date.] 

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 Edo, this is the perfect place to begin a tour of Edo meisho.  Familiarly known as gAsakusa Kannon,h it is far older than Edo itself.  The engi dates its origins to Suiko-tei 36-nen (628), when a tiny Kannon-zô was miraculously netted by three fisherman brothers.  It was enshrined in the temple that came formally to be known as Kinryûzan Sensôji, and in the Edo period was the object of immense popular devotion.  As shomin no reijô, little has changed to this day; it is one of the great constants in the cityfs spiritual history. 

            In accord with the essential religious quality of the place, pictures of Asakusa Kannon were inevitably composed by the red buildings of the temple garan, as we see dramatically in these two images.  Toyoharu is the earliest artist to show the temple in a single-sheet print, in this finely detailed view of around the Meiwa period.  Squarely centered in this dramatic uki-e composition is the Niômon, with the shops of the Nakamise lining the approach on either side.  Through the gate in the distance, we see the shape of the Hondô, its size much reduced by Toyoharufs exaggerated enkinhô.

            Almost a century later, Hiroshige in the view from the Edo meisho zue to the left has drawn back to show the Niômon in the distance, framed by the Kaminarimon and its giant lantern.  This is in fact a rather rare view of the Kaminarimon, since the focus in most meisho-e of Sensôji was on the Niômon.  As in so many views of Asakusa, the season is winter, providing a felicitous contrast of red and white (kôhaku).  Against the nigiwai of Toyoharu, all seems quiet in Hiroshige.

            Hokkeifs 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 Harvard University art museum, and despite its poor condition it gives a marvelous sense of the geographical place of Sensôji.

            Aôdô Denzenfs copperplate view is the most unusual of all; over 50 cm wide, it is by far the largest of his Edo meisho-e, providing extremely fine detail.  It is unusual first for the highly accurate rendering of Western geometrical perspective; the receding line all come to a single vanishing point that you can easily locate at the end of the road to the right of the hondô.  But it is also quite fantastic in the Chinesy style of the temple roofs, an affectation that Denzen must have acquired from looking at views of Asia in Dutch books.  It provides a revealing contrast with Hokkeifs ichiranzu, as a different way of using Western vision.

            The latest view here is Kunitakafs 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, "Edo hakkei: Ueno no banshô."  Kôka (1843-47).  [KPM C299: presumably from censor seal.]

3D.      Utagawa Hiroshige, triptych, "Tôto meisho Ueno Tôeizan zenzu."  Sanmai-tsuzuki.  Tenpô 8-10 (1837-39) koro.  [KPM F370.]


            As in Bashôfs 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 Kanfeiji 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 Kiyomizu Temple.

But Ueno had a very shominteki aspect as the greatest of the sakura meisho in Edo.  Here in this charming and very early view (perhaps dating even before first uki-e in 1740s) by Shigenaga, a view over the whole area with blossoms in flower all over, and figures who seem prepared more for pleasure than temple worship.  The use of gfûkeih in the title is suggestive.

            Hiroshigefs triptych on the left shows clearly the central garan haichi: on the right the Kisshôkaku, and beyond the so-called gNinaidôh (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 gAkita rangah of the Tenmei period.  To the right is the Kisshôkaku, to the left a view of the bridge-like watarirôka of the Ninaidô and the Chûdô beyond.  In contrast is Eisenfs lyrical view, with the Kisshôkaku in center and the Kiyomizu-dô (surviving today) to upper right.  It is the gBanshôh in a hakkei series, typical of Ueno.


4.         Shinobazu no ike   pp. 18-19. 

4A.      Katsushika Hokusai, "Shinobazu no ike" Tôto shôkei ichiran).  Ehon.  Kansei 12 (1800) koro. 

4B.       Keisai Eisen, "Edo hakkei: Shinobugaoka no bosetsu."  Kôka (1843-47).  [KPM B308: Kôka shoki; Taikan 9/205: date from "Wataru" seal].

4C.      Shinobazu no ike.  Doro-e.  Edo kôki. 


            By extension of the mitate of Kanfeiji 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 Hokusaifs 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 Edo meisho-e images of the pond appear without the detail of the lotus, so the season is normally summer.  An exception is the Eisen view to the upper left, a lyrical hakkei view on the gBosetsuh theme.

            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 the Akita ranga.  The doro-e here shows it in its most abstract and pure form.


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 Fuji o miru zu."  Bunsei kôki-Tempô shoki (1825-35) koro.  [Kobe 843.] 

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 gEdo no daidokoro.h

            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 Edo Castle, the twin protectors of the city as a whole.  (Nihonbashi was only rarely shown to the east, out to Edo Bay and the rising sun.) 

            It is in these enkei of Nihonbashi that we find  the only really clear views of Edo Castle that will be seen in this entire volume,  serving to lend an air of authority and centrality to Nihonbashi.  Even here, however, the views are very small and distant, with yagura projecting from the trees.  From this angle, the three most visible were Fujimi-sanjû-yagura to the right, Fushimi-yagura to the left (both genson), and Tatsumi-sanjû-yagura in the middle; we see all three in here in 5B and 5C, just two in 5A.   


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" (Edo hakkei Oranda-e kagami).  Mameban.  Bunka 8-11 (1811-14) koro.  [Kobe 802.  Dates from recent Asano.]

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 Edo Castle, passing on through Kajibashi Gomon, and then Otemon.  The visitors in the Shigenaga uki-e below are a Chôsen shisetsu, shown returning from their visit to the castle, and en route to their lodgings at Asakusa Honganji.

            More famous for its view of Fuji, however, was Suruga-cho, which paralleled Honchô to the south.  Indeed, the name gSuruga-chôh is said to come from the view of Fuji in Suruga no kuni.  On the two corners, as seen in the Hokusai and Hiroshige views to the right, were branches of the Mitsui house of Echigoya, a gofukuten on right and ryôgaeya on left.  Today these same sites are occupied by their successors, the honten of Mitsukoshi and of Mitsui Shintaku Ginkô.  These images had an amuletic quality, symbolically combining the protective power of Fuji with the commercial prosperity of the city.

            It is interesting to compare the form of Fujifs peak in the pictures here.  Shigenaga carries on the medieval tradition of showing the medieval teikei of three symmetrical peaks.  But Hokusai and Hiroshige, however, there is no real teikei: each artist shows the peak in an individual way, no longer perfectly symmetrical.  Yet it is in no way a jikkei: the slope is far steeper than in reality, and it is immensely larger than life.  The actual Fuji seen from Suruga would have appeared even lower than the rooves of the buildings. 


7.         Kasumigaseki   pp. 26-27. 

7A.      Utagawa Kuniyoshi, "Tôto meisho: Kasumigaseki."  Tenpô shoki (1831-33) koro.  [Taikan, 13/A30; date from Springfield.]

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 gKasumigasekih was a poetic utamakura of east japan from ancient times, and in Edo as well often appeared in meisho pictures.  it was an east-facing projection of the Yamanote daichi, and in Edo stood at the crest of a gentle saka that provided a fine view over the city below and on to edo bay beyond.  Hiroshigefs depiction in the Meisho Edo hyakkei best captures this view, with signs of festive New Yearfs activity in the street.

            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 Mt. Fuji.  This view emphasizes the striking architectural feature of the place, with the walls of two great daimyo mansions lining either side of the slope.  To the right (north) was the kami-yashiki of Asano of Hiroshima, the red ggoshuden-monh indicating marriage of the daimyo to a shogunal princess.  On the left is the kami-yashiki of Kuroda of Fukuoka, now the site of the Gaimushô, for which gKasumigasekih has become a daimeishi.  The daimyo gyôretsu passing along the front, probably on return from a New Yearfs visit to the castle (gantan tojô), emphasizes the placefs character as high-status bukechi. 

            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 Yearfs 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 gkatah 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;  Nagoya gives as definitely 1833, no choice;  Forrer gives "about 1832".]

8B.       Naitô Notonokami kami-yashiki.  Doro-e.  Edo kôki.


            Views of the meisho gToranomonh 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 Hokusaifs 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 Kasumigaseki Building. 


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, "Edo meisho: Yushima Tenjinsha."  Kôka (1843-47).  [KPM F193: Kôka shoki.]

9C.      Yushima Tenjin.   Doro-e megane-e (REVERSED).  Edo kôki.


            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 Edo period by the Sendai jôshu Date Tsunamune.  The most dramatic stretch was where it cut through the tip of the Hongô daichi (so-called gKanda-yamah) to create the deep valley of Ochanomizu, running from Suidôbashi east to Shôheibashi, a distance of about 1.3 km.  The road along the river here, now the Sotobori-dôri, followed the northern edge of the valley, with steep sakamachi at either end: Ochanomizu-zaka near Suidôbashi on the west and Shôheizaka (named after the Shôheikô it passed) on the east.

            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 Century Building.

            Different artists emphasized different features, as these three examples well reveal.  Earliest is Shiba Kôkanfs, 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 Edo. 


10.  Kanda Myôjin, Yushima Tenjin  pp. 30-31. 

10A.    Shiba Kôkan, "Ochanomizu."  Dôban hissai megane-e (REVERSED).  Tenmei 4 (1784).

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, "Edo meisho--Ochanomizu zu," tanzaku-ban.  Bunsei kôki (1825-30) koro.


            North of Ochanomizu stood the two of the oldest shrines in Edo, Kanda Myôjin and Yushima Tenjin.  Kanda Myôjin, located north of Yushima Seidô off the Nakasendô, was the sô-chinju of Edo, while Yushima Tenjin stood about one kilometer still further north, famous for its surrounding sakariba of ryôtei, kagema-jaya, and miya-shibai.

            The common feature of both shrines, given their location along the southeast edge of the Hongô daichi, was the panoramic views that they offered.  Hiroshigefs 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 Hiroshigefs 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, "Edo hakkei: Sumidagawa rakugan." Mame-ban.  Tenpô 4 (1833) koro.  [Lane gives as c. 1833, no reason, presumably beroai; note different publisher from earlier ones;  Forrer agrees in nenpyô, gives "about 1832-33" in caption.]

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 Edo Bay on to Shinagawa.  This was the axis of pleasure and escape for many in Edo, and the site of a large number of meisho.

            For Edo people, the northern limit of the Sumidagawa was Senju Ohashi, for above this point, the river was known as the Arakawa and rarely visited.  We see the bridge in Hokujufs view above, a wonderful example of that artistfs depiction of fantastic cloud patterns.  Senju Ohashi marked the exit from Edo on the Oshu kaidô, with the shukuba extending to its north and south.  It was the first bridge to be built across the Sumida, and remained only one until Ryôgoku Bridge was completed in 1661.  Almost all meisho-e of the bridge, as with Hokuju, show it facing upstream, away from Edo.  Here we can make out the kôsatsu marking the entrance to Edo on the left.

            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 gSumidagawah almost always depict this part of the river near Hashiba. 

            This was a real place, however, and had specific attractions to lure Edo people away from the city to an area that was still very rural.  In particular, on the west bank stood Massaki Inari Jinja, which lay just above the ferry landing, and can be seen in the lower left corner of all three prints here.  Aodo Denzenfs view is exceptional for views of the area in being close to a jikkei, revealing the strong influence of Western dôbanga.  Massaki Inari was particularly famous for the dengaku restaurants in its precincts, popular not only from visitors from Edo but also courtesans from the Shin-Yoshiwara, which lay within easy walking distance to the West. 



12. Imado, Matsuchiyama    pp. 40-41. 

12A.    Toyoharu, "Ukie Mimeguri no zu."  Meiwa (1764-1772) koro.  [Shûka 15/118: no date proposed.] 

12B.     Shiba Kôkan, "Mimeguri kei."  Dôban hissai megane-e (REVERSED).  Tenmei 3 (1783).   [Kobe III/81.]

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, "Edo meisho--Mimeguri Inari kei."  Tanzaku-ban.  Bunsei kôki (1825-30) koro.


            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 Kuniyoshifs 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 Sanfyabori--including the famous Yaozen.  on either side of the bridge overlooking the river.  This activity is suggested by the white patches of light in Hiroshigefs 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 gYauh 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 Sanfyabori, 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.  

            Hokusaifs view from the gSumidagawa ryôgan ichiranh (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; Kobe 189.]

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.  Edo kôki.


            Now we have crossed over from Imadobashi to the other side of the Sumida, to the area known as gMukôjima,h the gislandh 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. 

            In the late Edo period, Mimeguri Inari became one of the mostly frequently depicted sites in Edo meisho-e, reflecting its increasingly popularity as a place to visit.  Most visitors would come by boat, up from Yanagibashi or across on the Takeya Ferry from Imadobashi.  New attractions emerged in the Bunka-Bunsei period, such as Hyakkaen, known for its plum blossoms, or the the sakura-mochi of Chômyôji, or the New Yearfs Shichifukujin-meguri.  Particularly famous were the cherry trees along the dote, which however are visible in the only view here to date from Kasei of after, Eisenfs hashira-e. 

            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 Kôkanfs dôbanga of Tenmei 3 (1783)--well-known as the first dôbanga to be made in Japan--the viewpoint is close to that of Toyoharu, but the dote has been smoothed out to a sweeping curve that exaggerates the perspective.  One must look hard to pick out the torii between two trees beyong the yoshizu-bari chamise.

            In the view from Utamarofs 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 Hokusaifs 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 Ichiranh  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).  Hokusaifs 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 kure at Yoshiwara.  gSumidagawa ryôgan ichiranh is also a kyôka ehon, with one kyôka treating each of the paired titles. 

            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 matsuh 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 resultsh after an evening visit. 

            Continuing directly to the left (the two linked by the oar of the boatman), we see the gKayadera no taka-tôrôh of the title projecting up above a temple roof and piercing the frame above.  Such taka-tôrô were displayed at Obon.  Hokusaifs real interest is in the watashibune at O-Umayagashi, filled with an interesting assortment of Edo types, including a tori-sashi, Kashima no kotofure, and a geisha.  The third scene, fig.. 14C, is of Komakata-dô, and the gkôganh of the title indicate autumn, with Azuma-bashi visible to the far left).




15. Ryôgokubashi   TRIPLE SPREAD   pp. 44-49. 

15A.    Okumura Masanobu, "Ryôgokubashi yûsuzumi ukie kongen."  Beni-e.  Enkyô (1744-48) koro.  [Kobe 728.]

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 Kôkan, "TWEELANDBRUK (Ryôgokubashi)."  Dôban hissai megane-e (REVERSED).  Tenmei 7 (1787).  [Kobe III/86.]

15E.     Aôdô Denzen, "Ryôgokubashi natsu yoru zu."  Dôban, hissai.  Bunka 2-14.  (1805-14) koro.

15F.     Keisai Eisen, "Edo hakkei: Ryôgokubashi no sekishô."  Kôka (1843-47).   [Kobe 847.  Same as 3C and 21C.] 

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, "Edo ryôgoku suzumi no zu."  Gomai-tsuzuki.  [EJZ 3, pl. 43.]


            Ryôgokubashi in summer was the most lively sakariba of the latter half of the Edo period, and the place most frequently depicted in Edo meishoe.  The selection over these six pages is only a small part of the total, but gives some sense of the rich diversity.  The bridge that spanned the gtwo kunih of Musashi and Shimoosa was built in 1661 as a way of opening up settlement east of the Sumida, and by Genroku sakariba had developed around the hirokôji at either end of the bridge. 

            Masanobufs 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.  Eishifs 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 gHyôgomaruh in the center.  In Toyokunifs 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 Toyokunifs 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 Fuji."  Chûban.  Bunka 4 (1807) koro.  [From Asano: dates such types as Bunka 3-5, but this in particular as Bunka 4 on basis of kaichô sign, corresponds to that year, 7th month.]


            We now move further south along the Sumida, passing under Shin-Ohashi and reaching the point where the Onagigawa joins from the east.  Hokusaifs 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 Hokusaifs distinctive enkinhô.

            Shinsaifs 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 Shinsaifs view; the buildings are part of the shimo-yashiki of the Tayasu Tokugawa family. 

           The river foreground in Shinsaifs 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 Anfei period.  It became Edofs most thriving pleasure quarter for over 15 years until it was filled in by orders of Matsudaira Sadanobu in Kansei gannen (1789).


17. Suzaki Benten, Tsukudajima   pp. 52-53. 

17A.    Utagawa Toyohiro, "Edo hakkei: Tsukudajima kihan."  Ehon Edo Murasaki.  Gachô.  Kyôwa-Bunka shoki (1801-10) koro.  [Hyakka 8/260:  Kyôwa-Bunka]. 

17B.     Utagawa Hiroshige, "Suzaki yuki no asa."  Ehangire, 16x51 cm.  Tenpô 10-11 (1839-40) koro.  [Ota Museum; Brooklyn Museum.  Michener IV-11: Tenpo 10-11 = 1839-40]

17C.    Utagawa Hiroshige, "Eitaibashi Tsukudajima" (Meisho Edo hyakkei).  Ansei 4 (1857).


            Finally we have come to the mouth of the Sumida River, below Eitaibashi.  Hiroshige below to the right provides a view from under the bridge itself, showing the three set features of the place: shirauo fishing boats, anchored benzaitencargo ships, and in the distance Tsukudajima, home port of the shirauo fishermen.  In this clever composition, we see only projecting parts of the nighttime fishing boats: an enlarged oar to the right, and kagaribi to the left, one reflected in the water.

            For a more detailed view of Tsukudajima itself, we may turn to Hiroshigefs teacher Toyohiro, in this leaf from an Edo hakkei album [gachô] Ehon Edo murasaki.  Predictably, the theme is gKihan,h and again we see shirauo fisherman and benzaiten.  The composition is a skillful exclectic blending through the use of traditional gsuyari-gasumih to create two separate spaces, one of the island below, and in the far distance a Western-style water horizon.  The coloring is light, and the scene filled with a lyrical spirit that would influence Hiroshige.

            One other important meisho lay to the east of the mouth of the Sumida, along the southern shore of Fukagawa.  This was Suzaki Benten shrine, which Hiroshige shows us here in a format known as gehangire,h originally intended as writing paper, hence executed in very light colors.  The place was also known for shiohi-gari in the summer, but here we see its other face, in the snow at New Yearfs.  Because of its orientation, as we see here, it offered a perfect view of hatsu-hinode over Edo Bay and the Bôsô Peninsula to the east.  Hiroshige perfectly captures the chill, pure beauty of the start of the year. 


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 Edo Bay from the mouth of the Sumidaalong the sweeping curve of Takanawa, on to the shukuba of Shinagawa on the far right.  We can spot Tsukudajima by the projecting boat masts just left of center; to its left is the huge hondô of Tsukiji Honganji, and still further to the left is Zôjôji [see pp. 62-3].  This view is from the ehon Sansui ryakugashiki of Kansei 12 (1800) by Kuwagata Keisai, whose ichiranzu of all Edo we saw on p. 8-9.

            As a placename gTakanawah 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 Edo, marked by large stone bases on either side of the road.  The earliest glimpse of these is in Kiyohiro to the left (fig. 63), just where the palanquin in a daimyo gyôretsu has passed.  Close inspection will also reveal three oxcarts (upper and lower left) and one oxcart wheel under repair in a shop to the upper right. 

            Hiroshigefs 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, "Edo hakkei: Shinagawa kihan."  Hosoban no migi-hanbun.  An'ei kôhanki (1776-81) koro.  [Kobe 967; Keyes in Ainsworth says 1776, but no basis; Shûka says date unknown; Hirano doesn't seems to include, although she gives 1781 for the other very similar chûban series, hard to see why this would be much earlier or later; for moment, compromise of the two.] 

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 Moromasafs 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 Kiyonagafs view from a hakkei series, the gKihanh 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 Edo, the largest of the shishuku (with Senju, Itabashi, and Naitô Shinjuku).  In Hiroshigefs view from the Tôkaidô gojûsan-tsugi here, we see part of a daimyo gyôretsu passing the chamise and inns of the Shinagawa settlement on their way out of town as the sun begins to light up the sky over Edo Bay in the distance.  Perhaps it is the same procession that we saw leaving from Nihonbashi in fig. 14. 


20. Gotenyama     pp. 58-59. 

20A.    Katsushika Hokusai, Tôkaidô Shinagawa Gotenyama no Fuji" (Fugaku sanjûrokkei).  Tenpô 1-3 (1830-32) koro.

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 Edo Bay.  Both views here show the roofs of the machi to the left below, a row of people climbing the hill, and a group of picnickers enjoying the view.  Together with Asukayama (pp. 70-71), Gotenyama was one of the most popular suburban blossom sites of Edo until Kaei 6-7 (1853-4), when much of the bluff was cut away to provide earth for the construction of the Odaiba to defend against Perryfs Black Ships.

            Hokusaifs view is from his famous Fugaku 36-kei series, and is included among the ten views known as gura-Fujih that were added after the first 36 were completed, presumably from popular demand.  The snowy peak of Fuji in the distance is encircled with the puffs of blossoms, although it is unclear whether Fuji could actually be seen from Gotenyama; at any rate, Hokusai is the only one to show it. 

            Hiroshigefs 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 Hatchinteifs kyôka, gHana no koro / yado-sagari tote / kôin no / yanoji musubi mo / miru Gotenyama.h 


21. Atagoyama     pp. 60-61.   

21A.    Torii Kiyonaga, "Edo hakkei: Atagoyama shûgetsu."  Kobe 967.  Hosoban no hidari-hanbun.  An'ei kôhanki (1776-81) koro.

21B.     Aôdô Denzen, "Atagoyama chôbô no zu."  Dôban, hissai.  Bunka 2-14.  (1805-14) koro.

21C.    Keisai Eisen, "Edo hakkei: Atagoyama no aki no tsuki."  Kôka (1843-47).  [KPM C298: Kôka.]


            Now we begin a new circuit clockwise around Edo Castle to visit various suburban (kinkô) meisho.  The start is from Atagoyama, still close to the center of Edo, some 800 meters south from Toranomon (pp. 28-29).  Although a tiny hill in comparison with the 924-meter Atago-yama in Kyoto for which it was named, at 26 meters, this was the highest point within the gofunai.  It was similar to Kanda Myôjin (21 m. elevation) to the north of Edo castle (see p. 32) for the beautiful view that it offered. 

            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 gshûgetsuh in a hakkei, with the full moon shining over Edo Bay to the south.  Both are poetic in mood, but also invite close inspection of the human details.  Note, for example, how each conveys the steepness of the Otokozaka ascent from the east, Kiyonaga with two figures peering sharply downward, and Eisen with a single head emerging upward. 

            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, "Edo meisho: Shiba Zôjôji Sanmon-jô yori shichû o chôbô suru no zu."  Ansei 1 (1854).

22B.     Toyoharu, "Shiba Shinmei sairei zu."  Yotsugiri.  Meiwa (1764-1772) koro.   [Kobe 307.]

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 Kanfeiji, 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 gShinmeishah), 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-matsurih).  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, "Edo meisho: Meguro Fudô môde."  Tenpô 3-5 (1832-34) koro.  [KPM F189: Tenpô 3-5.]


            From Zôjôji we have moved some five kilometers southwest, beyond the Megurogawa that defined the gshubikinaih limits of Edo, to Meguro Fudo.  Although truly the Edo kinkô, gKono chi wa haruka ni toka o hanaruru to iedomo, keijin tsune ni taezuh (Edo meisho zue).  The Tendai temple here was properly known as Ryûsenji, referring to the spring that provided the water for the Dokko ni taki we see to the left in all three views here.  Thanks to shogunal patronage and widespread Fudô shinkô, Meguro Fudô became in time one of the most popular religious centers in Edo, by far the best known of the so-called gFive Fudô.h

            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.  Toyoharufs 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 Hokusaifs 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 gkatah 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, "Edo kinkô hakkei no uchi: Tamagawa shûgetsu."  Tenpô 8-9 (1837-38) koro. [Per Suzuki 139].


            A glance at these three images shows that we are far out of the city of Edo, now to the west, in the middle part of the Musashino daichi.  Of the entire area west of Shinjuku and Jûnisô, only the three places seen here appeared in any number of meisho-e, and even these were, as here, almost all by Hiroshige, near the end of the Edo period.  All required a considerable journey from the city, lying from 20-30 kilometers from Nihonbashi, but by the late Edo period all attracted increasing numbers of visitors. 

            All three places here are linked to Edo in some way by water.  Closest to the city was Inokashira no ike (fig. 24A), the name of which indicates its function as the source of the Kanda Jôsui, which was constructed at the beginning of the Edo period as the cityfs first source of fresh water.  As with various other bodies of water in Edo (such as Shinobazu Benten, pp. 18-19), a shrine to Benten was erected, here shown by Hiroshige in the lower left.  The wild and lonely place shown here is today a crowded public park not far from Kichijôji Station.

            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 cityfs 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 cherries near Koganei Bridge, seen here, were particularly prized, and the Edo meisho zue reports gjunman taru sakari ni wa, ryôgan no sakura, Tamagawa no nagare wo hasande ichimoku senri, jitsu ni zengo tsukuru kagiri o shirazu.  Koko ni asobeba, sanagara shirakumo no uchi ni aru ga gotoku.  Mottomo kikan taru yue ni, kinnen toka no sôjin inshi tôki wo iwowazu shite koko ni kitari yûshô su.h  Hiroshige in this view nicely captures the great age of some of the surviving Kyôhô trees, which by this time, in the late Tenpô period, were over 100 years old.

            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.  [Kobe 23: Bunsei kôki--Tenpô.  Hyakka 8/277: Ibid. But this one clearly has no beroai, I'll go for late Bunsei.]

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 Nikko and Tsukuba in the northeast, and to Fuji in the southwest. 

            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 Fudô Falls (fig. 25C), one of the gSeven Falls of Oji.h  And further down still was a dam (fig. 25B), used to divert water for irrigation to the paddies below.  Today, this stretch of river has been made into a park under Otonashi-bashi.

            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 Kiyonagafs Ehon Monomigaoka for the depiction of the shrine, but the large bijin and karakusa border make it quite exotic.  Very different is Hiroshigefs 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 Shakujii River.  Although the Edo meisho zue described it as a place for four seasons, gshunka shûsô karyô tôsetsu nagame aru no shôchi nari,h it was the spring sakura for which it was by far best known, and the season in which it inevitably appears in ukiyo-e meisho-e.  Cherry trees were planted there in the Kyôhô period, and fifteen years later in Genbun 2 (1737), the land was donated to nearby Oji Gongen sha by the shogun Yoshimune and opened to the public (shimin ni kaihô shita).

            These historical origins in effect became part of the appearance of the place in the form of the stone stele gAsukayama hih 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 Hokusaifs 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 Kiyonagafs 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 Mt. Fuji, so we see the sekihi from behind.  A long row of women with only parasols visible, are making their way up the hill, perhaps an expedition of oku-jochû. 


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.   [Kobe 894; no date.  Hyakka 8/236: Kyowa-bunka.] 

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 Hiroshigefs view (fig. 27C), which is copied after the view in the Edo meisho zue that had appeared several years earlier, with two women and a child holding a mushikago proceed up the hill as the full moon rises through the clouds.  The zue text reads: gShijin ginkyaku koko ni kitarite, yomosugara sono seion wo medehayasu.  Naka ni mo matsumushi no koe wa sugurete uruwashiku, hataori, kirigirisu no awarenaru ni, suzumushi no furisutegataku, omowazu ariake no tsuki wo mochiwataru ikkyô to ya iwan.h

            Continuing still further south from Daikanyama was Nippori (in Edo kôki commonly read gHigurashi no satoh), known for its concentration of temples extending along the west side of the takadai.  Three of these in particular, Seiunji, Shûjôin, and Myôryûji, made efforts to attract the public by developing elaborate gardens.  Here Hokusai (27A), and the unusual karikomi of a boat just right of center below enables us by comparison with the later Edo meisho zue view of Nippori to identify this specifically as Shûjôin.


28. Fukagawa, Honjo  pp. 74-75. 

28A.    Utagawa Toyokuni, "Shinpan uki-e Fukagawa Hachimangû no zu."  Kansei (1790-1801) koro.  [Kobe 260: Kansei 2--Bunka 1 (1790-1804), ie, any time from kiwame-in upt to Bunka.  Looks pretty primitive to me, I'd just say Kansei 2 ff, since has kiwame.]

28B.     Katsushika Hokusai, "Honjo Tatekawa" (Fugaku sanjûrokkei).  Tenpô 1-3 (1830-32) koro.  [Forrer: ca. 1835.]

28C.    Utagawa Hiroshige, "Fukagawa Kiba" Ehon Edo miyage, 2-hen).  Ehon.  Kaei 3 (1850). 


            Now we move east, across the Sumida River, a low, flat area that was developed fairly late, consisting mostly of hatamoto yashiki and smaller daimyo shimo-yashiki), with a scattering of temples and machi-chi.  The terrain offered few natural scenic attractions worthy of being made into pictures, so that most of the area appears relatively invisible in meisho-e.  The Fukagawa area near the mouth of the Sumida was the earliest to develop, beginning as a monzenmachi around Tomioka Hachiman-gû, evolving into a thriving hankagai, already famous in Genroku for its yûri and ryôtei.  Here Toyokuni (fig. 28A) shows the precincts of Fukagawa Hachiman shrine, although the many popular chaya and ryôtei remain out of sight.  The adjacent bettô of Eitaiji was known for the eight-day gyamabirakih from Sangatsu 21-nichi when the public was admitted to see the beautiful gardens, indicated be the flowering trees to the left, and the Fuji-like form of the artificial Kabuto-yama above.

            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 Mt. Fuji. 


29. Gohyaku Rakan    pp. 76-77. 

29A.    Kitao Shigemasa ka, "Honjo Gohyaku Rakan."  Meiwa (1764-72) koro.  Ehon no ichimai. [From Ehon Edo sakura?  Kobe #297: calls "ôban," but I recall as much smaller.  Brooklyn gives dimensions as 6 1/8 x 8 1/2.]

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 Hokusaifs 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 meiranh (Edo meisho zue).  This was the Obaku-ha no zenrin Tenfonzan Rakanji, one of the most architecturally interesting temples in Edo.  It was the creation of Shôun zenshi, who in the Genroku period was given a large plot of land here for a temple to house the 500 rakan images he had carved.  He died before he could build a Rakandô, which was completed by his successor Zôsen in Kyôhô 13 (1728).  The interior arrangement involved the clever use of bridges to see all the images, as shown in a ten-page long illustration in the Edo meisho zue.  The unsigned view here (fig. 29A), thought to be Shigemasa in about Meiwa, is an early depiction of the temple precincts, showing the roof of the Sômon entrance to the lower right, the Tennôden that served as a chûmon, and the Hondô and Tôdô of the Rakandô. 

            Rakanji became even more famous with the construction of a new buildings known as the Sazaidô, probably completed in Anfei 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 Mt. Fuji.  Hokusai (fig. 29B) here shows the view from the balcony, looking at the backs of a varied assortment of characters.  The paddies below seem almost a lake, and we can see the zaimoku okiba of Tatekawa in the distance to the right, almost as high as Fuji!  The Sazaidô was damaged in the Ansei Earthquake of 1855, and demolished in early Meiji.  A number of the Rakan images survive at Rakanji in its present location in Meguro, where it was moved in (Meiji 41) 1908.


30. Kameido. pp. 78-79.

30A.    Katsushika Hokusai, "Shokoku meikyô kiran: Kameido Tenjin Taikobashi."  Tenpô 5 (1834) koro.  [Forrer: "about 1833"; Nagoya gives Tenpô 5='34; Lane gives 1834.]

30B.     Utagawa Hiroshige, "Kameido Tenjin keidai" (Meisho Edo hyakkei).  Ansei 3 (1856).

30C.    Kameido Ume-yashiki.  Doro-e.  Edo kôki.

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 fuji and Ume-yashiki first for ume in the Anfei period Shiji yûkanroku, perhaps the first Edo hana-goyomi.

            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 gotokobashih 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 explained in Edo meisho hanagoyomi of Bunsei 10 (1827):  gJitsu ni ryû ga fushitaru ga gotoku, eda wa tarete chichû ni irite, mata chi wo hanare, izure o miki tomo sadamegatashi.h   The doro-e (fig. 30C) gives a nice sense of the dragon-like shape, while Hiroshige (fig. 30D) shows clearly the confusion of eda and miki.  Both views show the surrounding fence and the sign marking the tree.  The tree first gained fame when the shogun Yoshimune smelled its fragrance, and by the time of these late Edo views, it was as much as 200 years old. 


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, "Edo ryôza shibai-machi kaomise no zu."  Bunsei kôki (1825-30) koro.  [KPM C307: Bunsei makki; seems ok to me, no evident beroai.]

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 of Edo, starting with the shibaimachi.  The Masanobu view here (fig. 31D) is an early uki-e, showing how western perspective for the first time enabled the depiction of the entire theater interior, including stage, audience, and roof (a Kyôhô innovation).  This print is a large gôôbanh size, astonishing in the detail provided, particularly of the audience.  Kishi Fumikazu has close analyzed this print (gEnkyô ninen no paasupekutivu,h Bijutsushi 132), showing that the actors whose crests appear on the thirty chôchin above limit the time to the kaomise of Enkyô 2 (1745).  But they come from all three theaters, so that it is not a particular performance at a single theater, he argues, but rather a gkôsôzuh that aims to show a generic gEdo meisho to shite no kabuki.h 

            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 Eisenfs 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.  Kobe 281.]

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.  [Kobe 24: Bunsei 10--Tenpô 14 (1823-43).  But clear beroai, couldn't be Bunsei.  Hyakka 11/pl. 294: Tenpô.]


            Here we conclude with our tour with the gokuh of Edo meisho, the yûkaku of Shin-Yoshiwara.  The original Yoshiwara was in the middle of Edo, near the shibai-machi of Sakai-chô Fukiya-chô, but in Manji 2 (1659), it was moved to the northern fringes of the city beyond Asakusa.  It was literally in the middle of the paddies, as we see from this early uki-e of Masanobu (fig. 32A), isolated as a bessekai with a moat.  The only entrance was by the gOmonguchih shown here, leading directly to the main street of Naka-no-chô.  It was lined with several tens [sûjû] of hikite- jaya that served as intermediaries (chûkaisho) for the ageya along the side streets.  Here we have a full view of the Tomoeya, in which enkinhô allows us a view even back to the kama of the kitchen. 

            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 Edo

33A.    Utagawa Hiroshige II, "Edo meisho ichiran sugoroku."  66x69 cm.  Ansei 6 (1859).  [Size measured from reprod, area inside frame.]