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The Banks of the Sumida River thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

The Banks of the Sumida River

Woodblock Print
1857 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The ribmarks faintly visible in the sky add a certain drama to the strongly receding view of the upper reaches of the Sumida river in this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige. To the north-east, some 65 kilometres away, the distinctive shape of Mount Tsukuba rises on the darkening horizon. From our position in the middle of the Azuma Bridge, the northernmost of the four bridges that spanned the Sumida river, we can see among the trees to the left the roof of the Shoten Shrine at Matsuchiyama. Just beyond lies the entrance to the San'yabori Canal, the point at which travellers to the Yoshiwara licensed pleasure quarter would alight from their boats to make the final part of their journey by foot along the Nihon Embankment. On the right we can see the more open space of the Mukojima district. Two sets of steps lead down to the river, the nearer being those of the Takeya ferry crossing, behind which, over the top of the embankment, the torii gate (a two-column entrance) of the Mimeguri Shrine is just visible. The reedy strands in the middle of the river force even the smallest of sculls to steer a careful course across the waters.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleFamous Places in the Eastern Capital (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'The Banks of the Sumida River', from the series 'Famous Places in the Eastern Capital'; fan print, Japanese, 1857
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Senzaburō. Censorship seal: aratame. Date seal: Snake 4 (1857/4).
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Place Depicted
Summary
The ribmarks faintly visible in the sky add a certain drama to the strongly receding view of the upper reaches of the Sumida river in this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige. To the north-east, some 65 kilometres away, the distinctive shape of Mount Tsukuba rises on the darkening horizon. From our position in the middle of the Azuma Bridge, the northernmost of the four bridges that spanned the Sumida river, we can see among the trees to the left the roof of the Shoten Shrine at Matsuchiyama. Just beyond lies the entrance to the San'yabori Canal, the point at which travellers to the Yoshiwara licensed pleasure quarter would alight from their boats to make the final part of their journey by foot along the Nihon Embankment. On the right we can see the more open space of the Mukojima district. Two sets of steps lead down to the river, the nearer being those of the Takeya ferry crossing, behind which, over the top of the embankment, the torii gate (a two-column entrance) of the Mimeguri Shrine is just visible. The reedy strands in the middle of the river force even the smallest of sculls to steer a careful course across the waters.
Collection
Accession Number
E.12087-1886

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record createdMarch 5, 2000
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