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Dawn at Kanda Myojin Shrine, No. 10 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

For lyrical effect, Hiroshige often chose a quiet moment rather than a time of high activity. Here he offers a side view of Kanda Myōjin—the unofficial shrine of the citizenry of Edo—in the cool dawn, when the benches of the outdoor teahouse lie empty. Only a corner of the vermillion shrine building is visible. The three figures, all keepers of Kanda Myōjin, look out over the city, anticipating the day's activities.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 9th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (33.7 x 22.5 cm) Sheet: 14 13/16 x 9 3/16 in. (37.6 x 23.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.10
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Dawn at Kanda Myojin Shrine, No. 10 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 9th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (33.7 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.10
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.10_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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Three figures pause to contemplate the glow of the eastern horizon over a mass of gray roofs below. The place is Kanda Myojin, considered to be the patron shrine of the citizenry of Edo, sharing its honors only with Hie Sanno Shrine (see pl. 51), in the dawn, when the benches of the outdoor teahouse lie empty. The three figures are all keepers of the shrine: a priest to the left, followed by a shrine maiden (miko) and an attendant as they begin their morning rounds. The view over the city, its low horizon back-lit by the rising sun, suggests the watchfulness of Kanda Myojin and its patron deity, the fearful Taira Masakado, over the fortunes of all Edo. The robes of the priest involve three separate bokashi gradations, while the overgarment (hifu) of the miko bears a fine printed cloud pattern, the white of the robes on the figures to the right is executed in fabric printing.
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