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Woodblock print - Star Festival at Yanagishima
  • Star Festival at Yanagishima
    Utagawa, Hiroshige, born 1797 - died 1858
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Star Festival at Yanagishima

  • Object:

    Woodblock print

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1856 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Utagawa, Hiroshige, born 1797 - died 1858 (artist)
    Ibaya Senzaburo (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour print from woodblocks

  • Credit Line:

    R. Leicester Harmsworth Gift

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The woman in this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is sitting in a roofed pleasure boat (yanebune) at the junction of the Kitajukkengawa and Yokojukkengawa Canals in the north-east corner of Edo's Honjo district. We are looking southwards down the Yokojukkengawa Canal towards the Yanagishima Bridge, from which the area took its name. The lighted building on the extreme right is the Hashimoto, a restaurant famous for its kaiseki cuisine. Behind it we can see the tiled roof and red fence of the Myoken Hall, home to an image of the Bodhisattva Myoken. This was the focus of a religious cult subscribed to by large numbers of Edo residents, including Hiroshige's contemporary Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). The Star Festival of the title is the Tanabata Festival, traditionally celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month. This is the third of a set of three designs unusual for the way in which the distance between viewer and subject progressively decreases, so that the focus of attention shifts from an overall view in the first design to the stylishly clad woman seen here. In this respect it anticipates the sort of experimentation seen in Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, the first design of which appeared a month after this series was published.

Physical description

Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Senzaburo. Censorship seal: aratame. Date seal: Dragon 1 (1856/1).

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1856 (made)


Utagawa, Hiroshige, born 1797 - died 1858 (artist)
Ibaya Senzaburo (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Colour print from woodblocks


Height: 220 mm approx., Width: 290 mm approx.

Descriptive line

Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'Star Festival at Yanagishima', from the series 'Famous Places of Edo Compared to Sun, Moon and Stars'; fan print, Japanese, 1856




East Asia Collection

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