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Inside Kameido Tenjin Shrine (Kameido Tenjin Keidai), No. 65 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

The arched bridge in the distance would have immediately identified this site for an Edo viewer as Kameido Tenjin Shrine, on the eastern fringe of Edo. The shrine was dedicated in the early 1660s as a part of the campaign to open the east bank of the Sumida for urban settlement in the wake of the devastating Meireki fire of 1657. The dedication to Tenjin, the deified Sugawara Michizane (845–903), patron saint of learning and calligraphy, is said to have been inspired by the personal veneration of the shogun Ietsuna (1641–80). This print features a curious printing slip in the extension of the blue of the pond into the sky region beneath the bridge. The error was corrected in later impressions.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 7/16 x 8 3/4 in. (34.1 x 22.2 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 5/16 in. (36.1 x 23.6 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.65
    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 Purple wisteria blossoms are shown here within the precincts of Kameido Tenjin Shrine. The arched bridge was one of two such famous "taikobashi" in Edo, the one here in wood and the other in stone (see print 111 of the series). Hiroshige has exaggerated the height of the bridge above the pond, but not its steepness. Since World War II the bridge has been rebuilt in ferroconcrete. There is a printing error in the extension of the blue of the pond into the sky region below the bridge. The error was corrected in later impressions, but has led to many speculations as to how the mistake originally occurred.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Inside Kameido Tenjin Shrine (Kameido Tenjin Keidai), No. 65 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Image: 13 7/16 x 8 3/4 in. (34.1 x 22.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.65 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.65_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.65_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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