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Shiba Shinmei Shrine and Zojoji Temple, No. 79 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

Cheerful faces are unusual in Hiroshige's series, which is dominated by faces either too small to be seen, averted, or set with a stern demeanor. Not so with these visitors from the countryside, who have just completed a visit to the Zōjōji Temple at the upper left, one of Edo's great sights, the burial site of the Tokugawa shoguns and a training center for Buddhist priests. Behind them is a group of novice monks, who would beg in the streets in the afternoons; their tightly ordered ranks and matched attire contrast with the laughing disarray of the rural visitors. The tourists will certainly stop next at Shiba Shinmei Shrine, the buildings to the right with the distinctive protruding roof beams and ridgepole logs.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1858
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.79
    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 The happy faces shown here are unusual in this series; they are country visitors who have completed their visit to the Zojoji Temple and the shoguns' tombs. Zozoji was an important training carpenter for priests of the Jodo sect and a group of these novices are seen at the left in matched attire. The temple entrance is at the upper left, past a small bridge through the front gate, known as the Daimon, "Great Gate." In the distance are pines that covered the Zozoji precincts. The name Daimon came to apply to the whole stretch of temple-front settlement and today is the name of a subway stop; the gate itself survives right in the middle of a busy avenue. The other important religious center, shown here in the upper right, is a Shinmei shrine known as Shiba Shinmei. This shrine, older than Edo itself, was founded in the eleventh century and is dedicated to the gods of Ise Shrine. It was noted for its unusual architecture, with its protruding roof beams and ridgepole logs, and was one of the patron shrines of the city.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858). Shiba Shinmei Shrine and Zojoji Temple, No. 79 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1858. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.79 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.79_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.79_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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