Collections: Asian Art: Cotton-Goods Lane, Odenma-cho, No. 7 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

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On View: Home Scene

Thomas Eakins painted several works with music-related themes during his career. In Home Scene, his older sister Margaret sits at the piano,...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

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    30.1478.7_PS1.jpg 30.1478.7_SL4.jpg

    Cotton-Goods Lane, Odenma-cho, No. 7 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

    The quietness of the street tells us it is late night or early morning. We are in the heart of the city in the sector popularly known as Momendana ("cotton shops"). Scholars have surmised that the two geisha are returning home after an evening out, their slight disarray and sense of tipsiness enhanced by the concern in the attendant's arched eyebrow. Nearby, behind the lifted cloth curtain, two merchants sit among piles of cotton fabric, closing up their business.

    • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
    • Medium: Woodblock print
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: 4th month of 1858
    • Period: Edo Period, Ansei Era
    • Dimensions: Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 1/8 x 9 1/4 in. (35.9 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    • Markings: Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 30.1478.7
    • Credit Line: Gift of Anna Ferris
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Cotton-Goods Lane, Odenma-cho, No. 7 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th month of 1858. Woodblock print, Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.7
    • Image: overall, 30.1478.7_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    • Catalogue Description: It is evening and two Geisha and their young attendant (a Kabura or Kamuro) walk along the long stretch of cotton cloth and dry goods shops in Odenma-cho, popularly known as "Momendana" ("cotton shops"), in the heart of the city. Today it still is the cloth and cotton district of Tokyo. Beyond the shop curtain (Noren) of the Tamuraya store (center right) two merchants sit among piles of cotton fabric, probably tallying up the day's profits. The two Geisha in matched ensemble, returning from an evening providing samisen entertainment, perhaps at a wealthy wholesaler's home nearby. There is a disarray in their dress possibly hinting of the drink they may have shared with their customers. The attendant or servant who follows just behind has an arched eyebrow, perhaps conveying a sense of concern over her mistresses' condition. The architecture is typical is Odenma-cho and unusual for wealthy Edo merchants, since it enclosed a row of several different shops under a single roof - a house form normally reserved for backstreet tenements. In this print, the alternating names and crests identify three separate establishments: the Tabataya to the right, Masuya in the center and Shimaya in the distance. The three enclosures on the roof of the building are barrels to collect rain water to be used in case of fire.
    • Record Completeness: Best (88%)
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