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Hilltop View, Yushima Tenjin Shrine, No. 117 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

This view is to the northeast from the precincts of Yushima Tenjin Shrine, looking out over the Shinobazu Pond. The main sanctuary of the shrine is off to the left. Pictured is a side approach that could be reached by the two different stone stairways shown here, either the one on the lower right or the one by which the two figures in the center are ascending.

Yushima Tenjin was one of the oldest shrines in Edo and was dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, the patron saint of learning and the arts. It is still devoutly patronized by rich and poor alike. Like many favorite shrines and temples, it served as a major center of recreation in Hiroshige's day.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 4th 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 Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Seals in top margin: Date and censor seal.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.117
    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 View of the side approach to Yushima Tenjin Shrine, which is on a hill about forty feet above the pond. There are two different stone stairways shown here, the steep Male Slope to the lower right and the gentler Female Slope, which the two figures in the center are ascending. From this hilltop view one can see Benten Shrine in the middle of Shinobazu Pond and to the right are some of the red temple buildings of Kan'eiji. Both stairways survive today, but multistory hotels now obstruct the view. Yushima Tenjin, one of the oldest shrines in Edo, was dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, the patron saint of learning and the arts. Today Yushima Tenjin is known for its spring plum blossoms and is popular among students who pray to the patron saint of learning for success in school entrance examinations. There is a touch of festivity in the row of red lanterns on the teahouse to the left.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Hilltop View, Yushima Tenjin Shrine, No. 117 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th 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, 30.1478.117 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.117_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.117_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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