Skip Navigation

Tsukudajima From Eitai Bridge, No. 4 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

This view in Edo Bay is one of only a few prints in this series in which Hiroshige attempted to portray a starlit sky. The fishing boats have come from Tsukudajima Island, lying silent in the distance. Employed by the shogun, they caught the tiny translucent shirauo, or "white fish," whose bland taste was favored by his prescribed diet. The vessels' bright fires were a familiar winter sight.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 2nd month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.4
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1930, provenance not yet documented; by 1930, acquired by Anna Ferris of Summit, NJ; 1930, gift of Anna Ferris to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This night view looks from the mouth of the Sumida River out into Edo Bay, the view framed by a pillar of Eitai Bridge to the left and the scull of a fishing boat to the right. In the middle distance, the forms of the anchored cargo boats to the right and the two small fishing craft hidden behind the bridge pillar. The metal baskets of burning kindling (kagaribi) of these small boats reflect off the water. "The fishing boats here come from the island of Tsukudajima (see pl. 55) which lies in the distance under the night sky. Their catch is shirauo (white-fish), a tiny translucent fish which turns white when cooked. The Tsukudajima fishing boats were in the employ of the shogun, whose prescribed diet favored the bland taste of shirauo, and their bright fires were one of the familiar winter sights at the mouth of the Sumida River. The printing effects here are worth detailing. A deep pool of Prussian blue below suggests the shadow of the bridge, giving way through a bokashi gradation to the light blue of the moonlit sea. The bridge pillar and the scull are likewise enhanced by a blue bokashi where the water laps over them. The masts of the moored ships glitter with mica, suggesting the reflection of moonlight. Around the reflection of the kagaribi is a pool of white that lends warmth and intimacy to what might otherwise be a fairly chilly scene. Similarly, the far horizon is bright - a thin band of pink that seems less a literal depiction of dawn than an aesthetic separation of sea and sky. Through the darkened sky we see the subtle grain of the woodblock, against which the gibbous moon and stars stand out brightly. This print is one of only a few in which Hiroshige attempted to depict a starlit sky. Together with pl. 61, it is one of the most successful (see pls. 34, 113, 188)." (H. Smith in Braziller, 1986)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Tsukudajima From Eitai Bridge, No. 4 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (34 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.4 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.4_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.4_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT 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 fill out our online application form (charges apply). 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
    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.