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Fukagawa Lumberyards, No. 106 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

The Fukagawa lumberyards, site of part of the huge supply of lumber needed by the world's largest wooden city, were of great economic importance. In early Edo, lumber was kept closer to the center of town. However, in the wake of a fire in 1641 that destroyed not only houses but the lumber needed to rebuild them as well, the government ordered the yards removed to the Fukagawa district. The snow falling on the water here provides one of the brightest images of winter in the series.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 8th month of 1856
    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 Title in cartouche upper right. Signature in cartouche lower left. Censor seals in upper right border. No publisher's seal visible. Probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Date and censor seal at upper margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.106
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Fukagawa Lumberyards, No. 106 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 8th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.106
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.106_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "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 After the fire in 1641 which destroyed both houses and the lumber needed to rebuild them, lumberyards were removed to the Fukagawa district, east of the Sumida River, to the place officially named Fukagawa Kiba ("wood place"). In this scene one sees the leaning poles, two sparrows, two loggers, two puppies, and at the bottom, a yellow umbrella which has the "fish mark" of the publisher Uoei. The lumber was transported to and from the Kiba lashed onto rafts and poled by skilled loggers, two of whom are seen here wearing straw capes. The Fukagawa lumberyards survived until the mid 1970's when the land began to subside, obstructing the passage of the lumber boats. Today, much of Tokyo's lumber arrives by ship from all over the world and is then transported by truck. However, Kiba survives as a place name.
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