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Suwa Bluff, Nippori, No. 15 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

Suwa Shrine was located just across the road from the rear entrance of the temple depicted in the previous print, right on the edge of the Suwa Bluff, to which it lent its name. From within the shrine precincts, a broad panorama opened to the northeast. In the far distance are the silhouettes of two mountain groups that appear several times in this series. To the right is the twin-peaked Mount Tsukuba, which appears eleven times in the series, the western Male Peak usually shown higher than the Female Peak even though it is actually twenty feet lower.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 5th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 1/2 x 9 in. (34.3 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher, censor, and date seals not visible, probably lost when left edge was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.15
    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.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A scene of the Suwa shrine precincts. Below and to the right, down a steep path, was the village of Nippori; today the Yamanote Line runs along the foot of the bluff, and the Nishi-Nippori Station is about a hundred yards down to the left of this point. In the distance there are rice paddies, in the foreground two towering cedars. Near the trees rest two haystacks in yellow accent. In the far distance are two mountain groups that appear again from time to time in this series. To the right is the twin-peaked Mount Tsukuba, which appears eleven times in all the series and although only 2874 feet in elevation, it is the only mountain worthy of the name in the broad expanse of the Kanto Plain northeast of Edo, and its distinctive shape combined with an ancient tradition of religious veneration to make it more prominent in Hiroshige's landscapes than it was in ordinary visual experience. To the left is the Nikko Range, which appears as many as six times in this series. Scene below shows sightseers relaxing and picnicking beneath the cherry blossoms on platforms in back of the temple.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Suwa Bluff, Nippori, No. 15 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 5th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Image: 13 1/2 x 9 in. (34.3 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.15 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.15_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.15_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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