Collections: Asian Art: Minowa, Kanasugi, Mikawashima, No. 102 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

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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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    Minowa, Kanasugi, Mikawashima, No. 102 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

    The title of this print lists three different villages northwest of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. The names that appear first probably represent the nearest places in the view. This would mean that it is a scene looking from Minowa and Kanasugi toward Mikawashima, to the west or northwest. Mikawashima was where the shogun's Crane Hunt occurred almost every year during the winter months, when cranes migrated to Japan. The auspicious nature of the crane made it an important ceremonial gift. Aside from the one or two birds taken on each hunt, the cranes of Mikawashima were carefully protected, as Hiroshige has depicted: the figure in the background is carrying buckets filled with rice with which to feed them.

    • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
    • Medium: Woodblock print
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: 5th month of 1857
    • Period: Edo Period, Ansei Era
    • Dimensions: Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Markings: No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Date seal and censor seal at top margin.
    • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 30.1478.102
    • Credit Line: Gift of Anna Ferris
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Minowa, Kanasugi, Mikawashima, No. 102 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 5th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.102
    • Image: overall, 30.1478.102.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: The title of this print lists the names of three different villages in an area northwest of the Yoshiwara and is most likely looking from Minowa and Kanasugi toward Mikawashima. Mikawashima is the site of the shogun's crane hunt in the winter, when cranes migrate to Japan. The shogun, in the company of seventy or eighty others, would release the first hawk; a crane was then captured and lashed to bamboo poles and taken to Kyoto to be presented to the emperor. Cranes were considered extremely auspicious birds, and yet they were hunted and eaten, at least on this special occasion. The crane shown here is the Japanese crane, called "tancho," or "red-crest" after the bald red spot on its head. Today only a few hundred of these protected birds survive in eastern Hokkaido. The tancho has pure white feathers, depicted by a blind-printed pattern on the backs of the birds; the blackening near the shoulders of the upper bird might be from the effects of the atmosphere on white lead pigment.
    • Record Completeness: Best (88%)
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