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Yoroi Ferry, Koami-cho (Yoroi no Watashi Koami-cho), No. 46 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

The Yoroi Ferry, which we see in the distance loaded with a standing crowd, transported passengers across the Nihonbashi River. It owed its name to Minamoto Yoshiie (1041–1108), the medieval warrior who was said to have hung his armor on the pine tree in number 26. Here, so the legend goes, he pacified the waves during a great storm by sacrificing his armor to the angry Dragon King of the sea. Behind the ferry are the warehouses of Koami-chō, which stored rice, soy, and oil for the capital.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 10th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS 14 1/4 x 9 1/4in. (36.2 x 23.5cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 7/16 in. (36 x 23.9 cm) Image: 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 in. (33.7 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Title in cartouche lower left. Censor seals upper right border.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.46
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Yoroi Ferry, Koami-cho (Yoroi no Watashi Koami-cho), No. 46 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 10th month of 1857. Woodblock print, 14 1/4 x 9 1/4in. (36.2 x 23.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.46
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.46_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 This scene shows the Yoroi Ferry carrying passengers across the Nihonbashi River, standing on the Kayaba-cho side, looking across at the warehouses of Koami-cho, where rice, soy, and oil were stored. Swallows are seen in the summer sky, which is streaked with bright yellow. On the right is a young woman near the ferry landing, wearing a bold patterned dress, representative of the late Edo taste. An oarsman is seen sculling his small "chokibune" in the middle of the river and behind him to the right is a cargo boat filled with boxes marked "tea." The bow of the large ship at the left is one of the cargo ships that supplied Edo. According to legend the Yoroi (Armor) Ferry owes its name to Minamoto Yoshiie, the same medieval warrior who hung his armor on a pine tree (see print 26 of the series). As the legend goes, he was setting out for Chiba when a great storm came up, so he sacrificed his suit of armor to the Dragon King of the sea and offered his helmet in a mound nearby, in the hope of victory against his enemies. Hence the present place name of Kabuto-cho, which today is in the location of the Tokyo Stock Market.
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