Nihonbashi

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Utagawa Hiroshige
1797-1858

Nihonbashi
Print, woodblock

Donated by Mrs A.P. Mathewson, 1914
Museum number 1914-178-1

This print is part of the landscape series 'The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido'. During the Edo period the Tokaido Road, which linked the new capital Edo with the old capital Kyoto, was the route of an annual delegation by the shogun government to pay homage to the Emperor and legitimise its rule. Several ukiyo-e artists produced prints of the fifty-three recognised halting places along the Tokaido Road. Several versions were created by Utagawa Hiroshige, this print being from the Kyoka edition, which was produced in the late 1830s.

Nihonbashi, the mercantile centre of Edo, was the starting point of the Tokaido. Hiroshige shows a ‘snapshot’ of the centre of the bridge, from a high perspective, with people crossing over and boats navigating the pillars below. The distinctive peak of Mount Fuji soars in the background.

Nihonbashi
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