The Legend of the Stone Pillar of Ubagaike Pond at Asakusa thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

The Legend of the Stone Pillar of Ubagaike Pond at Asakusa

Woodblock Print
ca. 1845-1846 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige illustrates the story of the stone pillow. A traveller is invited into a remote house, offered a bed with a stone pillow, and then robbed and murdered during the night. The legend is found in various parts of Japan. This version relates to the Ubagaike Pond, which lay immediately to the east of the compound of the Asakusa Kannon Temple in Edo (modern Tokyo). Here you can see an old woman and her daughter beckoning a traveller into a dilapidated farmhouse. The characters on the torn lantern read, somewhat ominously, 'Hitotsuya', meaning 'Lone House'. The tilted hat, which resembles a halo, identifies the traveller. It is the deity Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, in disguise.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleA Compendium of Historical Sites in Edo (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'The Legend of the Stone Pillar of Ubagaike Pond at Asakusa, from the series 'A Compendium of Historical Sites in Edo'; fan print, Japanese, about 1845-1846
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Kyubei.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Summary
This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design by Hiroshige illustrates the story of the stone pillow. A traveller is invited into a remote house, offered a bed with a stone pillow, and then robbed and murdered during the night. The legend is found in various parts of Japan. This version relates to the Ubagaike Pond, which lay immediately to the east of the compound of the Asakusa Kannon Temple in Edo (modern Tokyo). Here you can see an old woman and her daughter beckoning a traveller into a dilapidated farmhouse. The characters on the torn lantern read, somewhat ominously, 'Hitotsuya', meaning 'Lone House'. The tilted hat, which resembles a halo, identifies the traveller. It is the deity Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, in disguise.
Collection
Accession Number
E.527-1911

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 20, 2003
Record URL