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Yanagishima, No. 32 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

Hidden in the trees against the left margin of this print is a large temple building called Myōken Hall. The worship of the Bodhisattva Myōken, the deification of the Big Dipper, was widespread in Edo, particularly among entertainers, and this temple at Yanagishima was the center of the cult.

In the center of the print is the restaurant Hashimoto, which Hiroshige pictures with its windows bright and beckoning. Beyond these two famous attractions is a rural landscape with the familiar shape of Mount Tsukuba looming far above.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 4th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left edge was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.32
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1930, provenance not yet documented; by 1930, acquired by Anna Ferris of Summit, NJ; 1930, gift of Anna Ferris to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This site, in the northeast corner of the city, is the intersection of the North Jukkengawa Canal and Parallel Jukkengawa Canal, at the Yanagibashi, or "Willow Bridge." These canals were among the half-dozen main arteries of the elaborate system of waterways that crisscrossed the Honjo and Fukagawa areas east of the Sumida. The Myoken Hall, a large temple building, lies among trees in the lower left of the composition. Part of the Nichiren temple of Hoshoji, this hall housed the image of the Bodhisattva Myoken, the deification of the Big Dipper. The building at the lower center of the composition is the area's other main attraction, the restaurant Hashimoto.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Yanagishima, No. 32 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.32 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.32_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.32_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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