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Original Fuji, Meguro, No. 25 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

Constructed in 1812, this mini-Fuji preceded the one depicted in the previous print by seven years. In short order it earned a reputation for its spectacular setting, far more dramatic than any of the previous replicas of Fuji. It lay along the same bluff as the New Fuji, some five hundred yards farther north. The creation and capitalization of the scenic setting is central to this mini-Fuji, from the pine trees along the path of the artificial mountain to the teahouse benches and the cherry trees at the mound's base. Of all the mini-Fujis of Edo, this was perhaps one of the most popular.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 4th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 5/8 x 9 in. (34.6 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga; publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.25
    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 mini-Fuji, constructed in 1812, preceded the "new" one in the previous print by seventeen years and it lay along the same bluff overlooking the Meguro River. Of all the mini-Fujis of Edo, this seems to have been one of the most frequently visited by the general populace. The large pine jutting out from the side of the mound was the only tree on the south side. At the base of the mound, benches were set up by teahouse owners and cherry trees planted for viewing pleasure. The "Original Fuji" was dismantled in 1878 and its stone markers were removed to a Hikawa shrine about one mile north along the bluff where they remain today. The site first became the villa of the Meiji statesman Iwakura Tomomi, and then of the businessman-politician Nezu Kaichiro (whose fine art collection is preserved in the Nezu Art Museum in Aoyama). Today it is a luxury apartment building, "King Homes," occupied largely by foreigners and the site of the "Original Fuji" itself has been replaced by a swimming pool. The trees in this print are shown in autumn foliage, as shown by the green and brown coloring and the heavy clothing worn by all the figures. Possibly, whoever made the seasonal classification, may have wished to keep the two Meguro Fujis together.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Original Fuji, Meguro, No. 25 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Image: 13 5/8 x 9 in. (34.6 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.25 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.25_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.25_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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