Hiroshige, Utagawa; designer; Japanese artist, 1797-1858
Colour print from woodblocks. Ôban. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Publisher: Uoei (Uoya Eikichi). Date seal: Snake 4 (4/1857). Censor’s seal: aratame. 1857.
given; 1913; Riches, Thomas Henry
No. 100 from the series Meisho Edo hyakkei (One hundred famous views of Edo), in the winter section. The mile-long Nihon Embankment, constructed in 1620, was the final stage in the journey of visitors to the Yoshiwara licensed brothel district, which was situated among rice paddies to the north of the city. The roofs of the Yoshiwara can be seen at the end of the embankment beyond the ‘Looking-back Willow’ (Mikaeri Yanagi) which was situated at the top of the slope leading to the main gate; here parting guests would pause to take a regretful ‘look back’. The visitor would either hire a palanquin for the journey along the embankment, or would go on foot, concealing his face beneath a dark hood. The route was lined with teahouses, which could make advance arrangements with the particular brothel advertised on the red lantern hanging outside. An alternative printing, probably earlier, has a wisp of cloud, and green on the willow and on the near embankment.
Object Number: P.3577-R
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182509; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2012-05-17)