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Kumano Junisha Shrine, Tsunohazu, No. 50 in One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

In the late Edo period, the Kumano Jūnisha Shrine flourished by combining the appeals of powerful deities with a scenic site. Hiroshige depicts the broad expanse of Jūnisō Pond, fringed with veranda like tea stalls and, to the lower left, a two-story restaurant. Trees, including a curiously barrenwillow, ring the pond. In the distance, beyond the yellow bands of mist, looms what is probably the outline of trees on the higher ground to the southwest. In the Meiji period (1868–1912), the pond thrived as an entertainment center and summer retreat, as it had in Hiroshige's time.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 3/16 in. (36 x 23.3 cm) Image: 13 x 8 1/2 in. (33 x 21.6 cm)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Seals in top margin: date seal and censor seal.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.50
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The Kumano Shrine, (the main sanctuary shown at the bottom) survives today in the northwest corner of Shinjuku Central Park, near the present day Century-Hyatt Hotel. The pond has been filled in for many years, and in Hiroshige's time, this place was just outside the limits of Edo along the Koshu Highway. Here a Kumano shrine, known as the "Twelve Shrines" (Juniso or Junisha) after the multiple systems of divinities in the main Kumano shrine on the Kii Peninsula. In the lower right there is a veranda tea stall and in the lower left, a two storey restaurant. In the Meiji Period, the Juniso pond thrived as an entertainment center and summer retreat. There is a bare willow tree near the pond on higher ground. There is fabric-painting on the title cartouche and subtle bokashi throughout; the scratchy pattern in the blue expanse of the pond is the mark of a damaged baren.
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