Skip Navigation

Minami-Shinagawa and Samezu Coast, No. 109 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

Samezu, the coastal area of Edo Bay south of the Shinagawa settlement, cultivated nori, a type of seaweed in which sushi is wrapped. In the autumn, long rows of tree branches stuck into the shallow waters provided a growing medium for the nori. From winter into the following spring, the seaweed would then be harvested at low tide, usually by women in small boats as we see here. The nori cultivated in Edo Bay was prized as the best in Japan, and though this particular stretch of coast has been filled in, the cultivation of the plant is still carried on in the traditional way elsewhere in the bay.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 2nd month of 1857
    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. The publisher's seal is just barely visible, some of it lost when left margin was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.109
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

    The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

    The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Minami-Shinagawa and Samezu Coast, No. 109 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.109
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.109_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 This view brings us to the Samezu shore, west of the Tokaido Highway, in the southern part of the Shinagawa settlement. A Zen temple is located in the upper left, by the black mass of trees, and Shinagawa Susaki (see print 83 of the series) extends out beyond the second white sail from the left. This coastal area was and continues to be known for the cultivation of nori, a kind of seaweed in which sushi is wrapped. Tree branches were placed in the shallow waters to promote the growth of the nori, and it was harvested at low tide from winter to spring, usually by women in small boats, as seen in this print. The nori cultivated in Edo Bay had the reputation of being the best in Japan. Samezu, or "shark sandbar," derives its name from the founding of Kaianji Temple. It has been said that in 1251 a shark washed up on the shore here with an image of Kannon in its belly. It was thought to be a good omen, and a temple of the Zen sect was dedicated to provide for the Kannon. The place name survives as a station on the Keihin Kyuko Line, but the entire stretch of coast has since been filled in.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.