Collections: Asian Art: Koume Embankment, No. 104 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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30.1478.104_PS1.jpg 30.1478.104.jpg

Koume Embankment, No. 104 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

We stand looking north from the embankment of the Yotsugi-dōri Canal near its beginning in Koume village. There is scarcely any sign of productive activity on this bright winter's day. No boats are in sight. The tone is set rather by the two children playing with puppies in the immediate foreground to the right—much less concerned about the cold, it would seem, than the two bundled women crossing the bridge. The trees with withered leaves in the foreground to the right are black alders (hannoki). The black alder grew quickly in this wet, low-lying area and was useful not only to prevent erosion on the canal embankment but also to hang rice for drying after the fall harvest.

  • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
  • Medium: Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • Dates: 2nd 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.
  • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
  • Collections:Asian Art
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Accession Number: 30.1478.104
  • Credit Line: Gift of Anna Ferris
  • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
  • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Koume Embankment, No. 104 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd 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, 30.1478.104
  • Image: overall, 30.1478.104_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
  • Catalogue Description: A scene of the embankment of the Yotsugi-dori Canal in Koume Village on a bright winter's day. At the right two children are playing with puppies and also to the right are black alder trees, also seen around the farmhouses in the distance. These trees were useful not only for preventing erosion on the embankment, but also for hanging rice for drying after the fall harvest. The three log and earth bridges in this print are Hachitanme Bridge, Koshin Bridge, and Shichihonmatsu Bridge. Today a road has replaced this segment of the canal. A similar view of this print is in the "Ehon Edo Miyage," volume VII.
  • Record Completeness: Best (88%)
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Recent Comments
10:00 09/4/2009
It looks very melancholic.
08:27 06/2/2011
this winter’s day is
still blessed with sunlight
and below the hannoki
the children play carefree
with the puppies;
and the old, as the old do,
walk much-dressed in the cold;
the birds are in the red-glow sky
and look over the village
and the people about their business
on the dirt road:
ah, over this earth
many days have passed
and many years
and birds have flown,
and trees have grown and fallen
and new ones come in their place;
and the young have grown old
and the old have gone their way…
and now over the land hangs
the radiant glow of wisdom

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