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Dam on the Otonashi River at Oji, No. 19 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

This dam was built in 1657 to control the stretch of the Shakujii River known as the Otonashi and to divert part of the flow into irrigation canals leading through fertile rice paddies. This stretch of the river is one of several place names in the Ōji area that were borrowed from the Kumano region to the west of Edo in the Kii Peninsula, in deference to the dedication of Ōji Gongen Shrine to the gods of Kumano. Ōji Gongen Shrine still stands on the bluff across the Otonashi River from Asukayama, or just to the right of the point where Hiroshige has placed us in this view.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 2nd month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 15/16 x 8 15/16 in. (35.4 x 22.7 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga; publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.19
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Dam on the Otonashi River at Oji, No. 19 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 15/16 x 8 15/16 in. (35.4 x 22.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.19 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.19_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.19_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    "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 Cherry blossom scene showing people swimming in the Otonashi River below the falls. This man-made "Great Waterfall" has been greatly exaggerated in height by the artist. Above, the Kinrinji Temple, where visitors rest inside a pavilion, today has been reduced to two small lots on the sites of former subtemples. By the 1960's the Otonashi River had been reduced to a concrete channel, but in 1985 a three year construction plan was begun to revive and beautify the 100 meter length of the river seen in this view and will be filled with rocks, bounded by strolling paths, pavilions and cherry trees.
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