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Sumiyoshi Festival, Tsukudajima, No. 55 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

In the middle distance, a chanting mob of young men carries the sacred palanquin of the Sumiyoshi Shrine through the shallow flats surrounding the island of Tsukudajima. The giant banner in the foreground bears the inscription "Sumiyoshi Daimyōjin," an honorific title of the shrine deities, with the names of donors below. The smaller inscriptions to either side provide the date and the name of the calligrapher, Seikengū Gengyo. This is none other than the poet and artist Baisotei Gengyo, the designer of the Table of Contents for this series.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.7 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (33.9 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Date & censor seals in top margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.55
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Sumiyoshi Festival, Tsukudajima, No. 55 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.55
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.55_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 group of men are carrying the sacred palanquin of the Sumiyoshi Shrine though the water encircling the island of Tsukudajima, at the mouth of the Sumida River. The tiny island of Tsukudajima was claimed by a group of thirty-four whitebait fishermen in 1645-46 who brought with them the name Tsukuda and their local Sumiyoshi divinity, the protector of mariners and fishermen. The festival commemorating this move was held on the twenty-ninth day of the Sixth Month in 1646 and every third year thereafter - including the year in which this print appeared. The celebration of this festival continues today, although the practice of mizu togyo (carrying the shrine through the water), discontinued in 1963. The giant banner in the center is inscribed in archaic script "Sumiyoshi Daimyojin," and the smaller inscriptions to either side show the date and the name of the calligrapher, Seikengu Gengyo, who is the poet and artist Baisotei Gengyo who designed the Table of Contents for this series. The date on the banner is just one month earlier than the publication of the print itself. The banner still remains in the treasury of the Sumiyoshi Shrine. On the right-hand side is a section of a red festival shrine lantern.
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