Skip Navigation

Tile Kilns and Hashiba Ferry, Sumida River (Sumidagawa Hashiba no Watashi Kawaragawa), No. 37 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

An ancient literary reference is evoked in this scene viewed from the yard of a tile-maker. The small white gulls in the foreground are miyakodori, or capital birds. Their fame dates back to an episode in the tenth-century epic Tales of Ise, in which some travelers from Kyoto spot an unfamiliar bird while crossing the Sumida River. Learning from the ferryman that it is a capital bird, one lonely courtier composes this verse:

If you are what your name implies,
Let me ask you, Capital-bird, 
Does all go well
With my beloved?

Translation by Helen McCullough

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 4th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 7/16 in. (36.2 x 23.9 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (33.9 x 22.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.37
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

    The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Tile Kilns and Hashiba Ferry, Sumida River (Sumidagawa Hashiba no Watashi Kawaragawa), No. 37 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 7/16 in. (36.2 x 23.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.37
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.37_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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 A view of the yard of one of the tile-makers of the Imado area. Note the rounded shapes of the kilns; between the kilns are the pine needles used to fire them. The kilns were also used for making "imadoyaki," small ceramic figurines for offerings at nearby shrines. There are cherry trees in the distance to the right (see print 35 of the series), and on the Sumida River are two ferryboats around the location of the modern Shirahige Bridge. The cluster of yellow huts, just right of center, is the ferry landing at Mukojima. The white and gray birds in the foreground are the "capital birds," or "miyakodori," which even today are seen in this area. Their fame dates back to the tenth century when verses were composed about them in "Tales of Ise."
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (88%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.