Artist:Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
Medium: Woodblock print
Dates:4th month of 1857
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)
Accession Number: 30.1478.100
Catalogue Description: This scene depicts a portion of the 800-yard stretch of the Nihon Embankment that led to the Yoshiwara ("pleasure quarters"). To reach the entertainment district, one could either rent a palanquin, as four have done in this view, or walk, concealing the face with a dark hood. Along the embankment were more than 100 teahouses, each bearing a cylindrical red lantern with the mark of a particular Yoshiwara brothel to which prospective customers would be introduced. The Nihon Embankment was constructed in 1620, two years after the Yoshiwara had been established as a prostitution district, officially licensed by the Bakufu. Above the rose-tinged clouds, a flock of geese cross the moonlit sky. Earlier impressions of this print have a green overprinting along the upper edge of the embankment and in the paddies along the San'ya Canal and particularly on the willow tree at the end of the embankment at far right. This is the famous "Looking-Back Willow," where parting guests would take their last parting looks back when leaving to return home.