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Bamboo Yards, Kyobashi Bridge, No. 76 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Catalogue Description:
Kyobashi was the first bridge on the Tokaido Road, south of the Nihonbashi Bridge, with which it shared the jewel-shaped metal rail ornaments known as "giboshi." The bridges leading into the gates of Edo Castle were the only others allowed these ornaments. The ornaments on the Kyobashi were preserved when the bridge was destroyed in 1965, and are seen today in front of a nearby police station. Hiroshige began his career as a landscape artist in 1831 with a variety of bridge and moon compositions. The incredibly tall pillars of the bridge in this scene might have influenced Whistler's "Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge" (1872) in the Tate Gallery. Along the bank of this river were the bamboo dealers of Sumi-choa, which gave this area the name of Takegashi ("bamboo quay"). The procession crossing the bridge is a group of pilgrims returning from Mount Oyama with their souvenir bonten. Below is a boatman poling a skiff loaded with bamboo baskets. There is a figure crossing the bridge (about center) carrying a red lantern and on that lantern is the signature of Yokogawa Hori-take, one of the best known woodblock carvers of the day. He engraved many of Hiroshige's designs in the 1850's and carved the memorial portrait of Hiroshige shortly after the artist's death.


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