Moon Pine, Ueno, No. 89 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
In Edo, there was a particular taste for naming trees that were distinguished by their age or their form. Pine trees, which tend to live long and grow in strange shapes, were the most common of these. The example seen here was called the Moon Pine, not only because of its full, round shape but also because one could discern various phases of the moon by looking at the tree from different angles. One twentieth-century commentary also referred to it as the Rope Pine, presumably because of its resemblance to a loop of rope.
7th month of 1856
Edo Period, Ansei Era
sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36.0 x 23.5 cm);
image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (13 3/8 x 8 3/4 cm) (show scale)
Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Date and censor seal at upper margin.
This item is not on view
Gift of Anna Ferris
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Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Moon Pine, Ueno, No. 89 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1856. Woodblock print, sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36.0 x 23.5 cm);. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.89
overall, 30.1478.89_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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This is the second view of the Moon Pine in the series, now seen from a different angle (see print 11). On the far shore is a row of commoners' houses, now the neighborhood Ikenohata 1-2 chome. Above, there are three fire towers; the one seen through the loop of the pine was the main estate of Maeda, lord of Kaga. Today, this land belongs to Tokyo University. In Edo it was a custom to name trees that were distinguished by their age or form and there are four other prints in this series which include the name of a famous pine in title (see prints 26, 61, 97, and 110). The name "Moon Pine" referred not only to its full round shape but also to various other phases of the moon, seen by looking at the tree from different angles. The famous branch seen here is reported to have blown off in a storm in the early Meiji Period.
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