Kasumigaseki, No. 2 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
Hiroshige here depicts traditional symbols and activities of the New Year, one of Japan's most important annual festivals. To the right appears the vertical slice of a gate pine (kadomatsu), a traditional New Year's decoration, which also organizes the scene to suggest a Noh drama stage set. At the center is a somber procession of street theater performers climbing the slope known as Kasumigaseki. Two manzai artists, who perform celebratory chants and dances for samurai families, observe them. Kites fly above; one is inscribed with the name of the publisher of the series, which translates as "fishmonger."
1st month of 1857
Edo Period, Ansei Era
Image: 13 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (34.3 x 22.2 cm)
Sheet: 14 3/8 x 9 3/16 in. (36.5 x 23.3 cm) (show scale)
No publisher's or censor's seals, probably trimmed away.
This item is not on view
Gift of Anna Ferris
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Kasumigaseki, No. 2 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 1st month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (34.3 x 22.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.2_PS1.jpg)
overall, 30.1478.2_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Scene looks toward Yurakuchou and beyond to Tsukiji, Fukagawa and Tokyo Bay. Kasumigaseki was a checkpoint on the old Oshukaido, one of the five highways that served as the major traffic arteries of Tokugawa, Japan, which connected the capital with northern Japan as far as Oshushirakawa. This hill (near what is now the Kokkaigijidomae subway stop on the Marunouchi line) was well known for its view of the harbor and sails.
A New Year's scene as shown by various festive markers and activities. Kites floating in the sky and the one at the top edge bears the character for "fish," the mark of the publisher Uoei (see also pls. 75, 80, and 106) - a discrete advertisement. To the right appears a slice of a gate pine, a traditional decoration for the New Year. Scene looks eastward over densely settled commoners' section of Edo in the morning horizon. In the center is a procession of daikagura performers, who emerged in the 17th century as presentatives of Ise shrine, performing lion dances in the streets. In Hiroshige's time, daikagura was closer to vaudeville street theatre, complete with ball-juggling and drumstick twirling. The gohei-topped pole, known as a mando is probably inscribed with the name of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess enshrined at Ise. To the left, the daikagura procession is observed by a pair of manzai performers, dressed in priestlike robes, who are making the rounds of samurai residences where they will perform chants and dances to ensure long life for the families. To their left, a sushi-maker delivers his wares. To the right, a mother and child head down the hill, the child holding a battledore for New Year's play. To their right is a "fanbox-buyer" taking advantage of the custom of presenting fans as New Year's gifts. To either side of the street stand two of the largest great daimyo mansions of Edo. The dark two-story row on the right (the mansion of Kuroda, lord of Fukuoka) these walls were in fact barracks for the daimyo's retainers. To the left, also decorated with two short pines, is one of the guardhouses that were strategically placed throughout the samurai districts; beyond it is the mansion of Asama, lord of Hiroshima. Even today, the place conveys an air of authority: since the early Meiji period, the site to the right has been occupied by the Foreign Ministry, which was commonly referred to before World War II as "Kasumigaseki." On the left today stands the National Personnel Building. The steepness of the Kasumigaseki slope - in fact a rather modest slope - was often exaggerated by artists in order to heighten the sense of a detached picture-like panorama in the distance.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.