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Kinryuzan Temple, Asakusa (Asakusa Kinryuzan), No. 99 from One Hundred Famous View of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

The color scheme of this composition—red on white—is reserved for propitious occasions, in this case the beginning of winter. The place is the entrance to the temple of the Buddhist deity Kannon in Asakusa, the oldest and most venerable Buddhist temple in Edo. Formally known as Kinryūzan Sensōji, it dates back to 628, when two brothers discovered a tiny gold image of Kannon in their net while fishing on the Sumida River. The image was enshrined here, and over the centuries the temple became the object of a widespread popular following that remains strong today. As with all popular temples in Hiroshige's time, the Asakusa Kannon Temple was also a major entertainment center.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1856
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 1/8 x 9 5/8 in. (35.9 x 24.5 cm) Image: 13 7/16 x 8 13/16 in. (34.1 x 22.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei or Yeikichi. Date seal and censor seal at upper margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga, fude
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 39.575
    CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Kinryuzan Temple, Asakusa (Asakusa Kinryuzan), No. 99 from One Hundred Famous View of Edo, 7th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/8 x 9 5/8 in. (35.9 x 24.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 39.575
    IMAGE overall, 39.575_SL1.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 A bright winter scene at the entrance to Asakusa Kannon, the oldest and most venerable Buddhist temple in the city. The temple, which was founded in the year 628, was also a major entertainment center, with many movie houses (in the twentieth century) and vaudeville theaters located nearby. This bright red and white print was chosen to start the winter season, with snowflakes drifting down from the gray sky, showing texture on the rooftops and in a pattern of small embossed dots on the ground. On the left side is a portion of the famous Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, and a huge lantern above. The gate was destroyed by fire in 1865 and was not reconstructed until 1960. The Gate of the Two Kings in the distance was named after the guardian deities on either side. On the right is a five story pagoda, beyond which is the Main Hall of the temple (not shown here). Both structures were destroyed in 1945 and were rebuilt after the war. The long path between the two gates housed a row of souvenir and toy shops, which in Hiroshige's time were mostly temporary structures that were folded up at night - none are in sight in this scene.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (88%)
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