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Armor-Hanging Pine, Hakkeisaka, No. 26 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

The "Armor-Hanging Pine" was a grand, oddly shaped tree from which, legend has it, the warrior Minamoto Yoshiie (1041–1108) hung his armor when he rested there on his way north to subjugate the Abe clan. By Hiroshige's time, the tree would have been about eight hundred years old. The bluff on which it stood—Hakkeizaka, or "Eight Views Slope"—was named for its panorama. The teahouses suggest that it was a popular place for relaxation.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 5th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 11/16 x 8 7/8 in. (34.8 x 22.5 cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left edge was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.26
    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 Scene overlooking Edo Bady from the top of Kakkeizaka or "Eight Views Slope," located just west of what is today Omori Station on the Keihin Tohoku Line. In this view, two figures on the lower right are climbing up the slope and coming into an area that is today near the precincts of Tenso Shrine. The center of attraction is the large pine tree, the "Armor-Hanging Pine" of the title. According to legend, the warrior Minamoto Yoshiie stopped by here to rest on his way to conquer the Abe clan and hung his armor on the tree. This would have made the tree about 800 years old at the time Hiroshige depicted it. According to the "Edo meisho zue," it is recorded to have been "six to seven jo (60-70 feet) in height with a girth "big enough to hide an ox." The pine tree was noted for its lower hanging (willow-like) branches, however, Hiroshige has offered a very different form with a crooked trunk, intended perhaps to denote a hook for Yoshiie's armor and conventional branches.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Armor-Hanging Pine, Hakkeisaka, No. 26 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 5th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Image: 13 11/16 x 8 7/8 in. (34.8 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.26 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.26_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.26_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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