Hiroshige, Utagawa; designer; Japanese artist, 1797-1858
Colour print from woodblocks, with mica (kira). Ôban. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Publisher: Uoei (Uoya Eikichi). Date seal: Dragon 8 (8/1856). Censor’s seal: aratame. 1856.
given; 1913; Riches, Thomas Henry
No. 106 from the series Meisho Edo hyakkei (One hundred famous views of Edo), in the section for Winter. These lumberyards were of crucial economic importance in Edo, the world’s largest wooden city. After the great fire of 1641, which destroyed not only many houses but the supplies of timber needed for rebuilding, the government ordered the relocation of the lumberyards to the Fukagawa district east of the Sumida River. The site was officially christened Fukagawa Kiba (‘wood place’) in 1703. Timber was stored mainly in ponds with connecting canals. For transportation it was lashed together to form rafts which were poled by the loggers (kawanami), two of whom can be seen in this print wearing straw capes. The yards survived until the 1970s. The umbrella bears the publisher’s mark. An alternative printing, probably earlier, has a wisp of cloud and a more elaborately coloured cartouche.
Object Number: P.3579-R
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182511; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2012-12-04)