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Not currently on display at the V&A

Fire

Woodblock Print
1843-1847 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The text in the fan-shaped cartouche in this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige reads Hi - Nakasu Mitsumata yotsude o orosu gyoshu no kagaribi, meaning 'Fire - the burning lights on the fishing boats as they lower their four-armed scoop nets where the river forks (Mitsumata) at Nakasu'. The location of this star-lit scene is the reedy strand in the stretch of river just south of the Shin-Ohashi Bridge in the Northern Nihonbashi district of Edo. For a short period during the 1770s and 1780s this had been the site of an eight-acre island that had thrived as a pleasure quarter in competition with the Ryogoku area. In 1789, however, as part of the crackdown on immorality that the Kansei Reforms initiated, the island was destroyed, leaving nothing but an expanse of reedy shallows. Here we are looking southwards over these shallows from the western side of the Sumida river. The Eitai Bridge is visible in the distance, and beyond it, on the horizon, is a group of masted cargo ships. The bridge behind the woman on the far left spans the entrance to one of the canals that criss-crossed the Honjo Fukagawa district to the east.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleThe Pride of Edo Compared to the Five Elements (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'Fire', from the series 'The Pride of Edo Compared to the Five Elements'; fan print, Japanese, 1843-1847
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Kyubei. Censor seal: Muramatsu.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Place Depicted
Summary
The text in the fan-shaped cartouche in this uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige reads Hi - Nakasu Mitsumata yotsude o orosu gyoshu no kagaribi, meaning 'Fire - the burning lights on the fishing boats as they lower their four-armed scoop nets where the river forks (Mitsumata) at Nakasu'. The location of this star-lit scene is the reedy strand in the stretch of river just south of the Shin-Ohashi Bridge in the Northern Nihonbashi district of Edo. For a short period during the 1770s and 1780s this had been the site of an eight-acre island that had thrived as a pleasure quarter in competition with the Ryogoku area. In 1789, however, as part of the crackdown on immorality that the Kansei Reforms initiated, the island was destroyed, leaving nothing but an expanse of reedy shallows. Here we are looking southwards over these shallows from the western side of the Sumida river. The Eitai Bridge is visible in the distance, and beyond it, on the horizon, is a group of masted cargo ships. The bridge behind the woman on the far left spans the entrance to one of the canals that criss-crossed the Honjo Fukagawa district to the east.
Collection
Accession Number
E.543-1911

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record createdMarch 11, 2003
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