Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 22, Okabe
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Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 22, Okabe, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 7/8 in. x 13 15/16 in. (225.43 mm x 354.01 mm)
On mat in pencil: Jo collection XVII set 22 n. 389. Censor's seal: Kiwame.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print from Hiroshige's Tokaido Road series. About 4 1/2 miles from Mariko, the topography changes drastically, and travelers again reach a treacherous place, the Utsu Pass - third in difficulty after the Hakone and Satta passes. The Utsu Pass is a valley between the steep mountains that rise alongside a swiftly flowing stream. The pass, dark with overgrown, lush vegetation and desne forest, had been a subject of literature and paintings. In the famous "Tales of Ise" Ariwara no Narihira crossed this pass, lonely and yearning for his lover in Kyoto.
Hiroshige well expresses the darkness and narrowness of the pass with travelers and woodcutters on the road. This print is the only one in the Tokaido series published by Senkakudo (Tsuruta), who issued ten prints jointly with Hoeido, the exclusive publisher of the rest of them.
Ref. "Hokusai and Hiroshige," p.185.
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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