The Twenty-sixth Night at Takanawa thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

The Twenty-sixth Night at Takanawa

Woodblock Print
ca. 1840-1842 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The view is this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is set in the northern part of the Takanawa district in southern Edo, where buildings lined both sides of the Tokaido Highway. The characters on the paper lanterns indicate that this is a geisha administrative office being used by the three courtesans for a practice session. The woman in the centre is dressed as an itinerant female dancer, while those on the right prepare to accompany her with a shoulder drum and shamisen. On the left is a stage prop in the form of a cut-out boat, and on the floor to the right is a pair of wooden clappers of the sort used in the widely popular kabuki theatre. These, the dancer's costume and the configuration of musical instruments suggest that the performance will be a nagauta-accompanied rendering (ballad singing) of the Asazumabune dance. The 26th night of the title is that of the seventh month, on which it was customary, as in the first month, to celebrate the rising of the moon. Takanawa was a favoured location for viewing the moon and was particularly busy at this time of the year.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Additional titleAnnual Events at Famous Places in Edo (series title)
Materials and techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'The Twenty-sixth Night at Takanawa', from the series 'Annual Events at Famous Places in Edo'; fan print, Japanese, ca. 1840-1842
Physical description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Place depicted
Summary
The view is this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige is set in the northern part of the Takanawa district in southern Edo, where buildings lined both sides of the Tokaido Highway. The characters on the paper lanterns indicate that this is a geisha administrative office being used by the three courtesans for a practice session. The woman in the centre is dressed as an itinerant female dancer, while those on the right prepare to accompany her with a shoulder drum and shamisen. On the left is a stage prop in the form of a cut-out boat, and on the floor to the right is a pair of wooden clappers of the sort used in the widely popular kabuki theatre. These, the dancer's costume and the configuration of musical instruments suggest that the performance will be a nagauta-accompanied rendering (ballad singing) of the Asazumabune dance. The 26th night of the title is that of the seventh month, on which it was customary, as in the first month, to celebrate the rising of the moon. Takanawa was a favoured location for viewing the moon and was particularly busy at this time of the year.
Collection
Accession number
E.542-1911

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Record createdMarch 7, 2003
Record URL
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