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Furukawa River, Hiroo, No. 22 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

For an Edo resident purchasing this print in 1856, the chief attraction of this scene of the Hiroo area of southwestern Edo may have been the half-hidden restaurant in the foreground to the left of the river. It was a famous eel restaurant named Owariya in a guide to Edo shops of 1811 and labeled "The Fox" on maps published after 1854. The restaurant had a widespread popularity at the time Hiroshige designed this print.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 12 7/8 x 8 3/4 in. (32.7 x 22.2 cm) Sheet: 13 1/4 x 9 3/8 in. (33.7 x 23.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-hitsu; publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.22
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Furukawa River, Hiroo, No. 22 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Image: 12 7/8 x 8 3/4 in. (32.7 x 22.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.22 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.22_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.22_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 View of the Furukawa River looking west toward Shibuya. In the distance the open green area is Hiroo Fields where groups of people are enjoying refreshments at temporary tea stalls. The large building at the left is an eel restaurant named The Fox (Kitsune Unagi) described as a "product of local fame." This small river originates in the higher ground of what is today Shinjuku Gyoen and Mieji Shrine. Both sides of the river were more fully settled in Edo times than what Hiroshige represents; they were occupied mostly by temples, residences of shogunal retainers and suburban daimyo estates. However, by the late Meiji period it became a "slumlike shantytown," and is little improved today.
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