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Travellers

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Ando Hiroshige (aka Hiroshige), Japanese, (1797–1858)
Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 36, Goyu, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
9 in. x 13 7/8 in. (228.6 mm x 352.43 mm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James W. Johnson
Accession Number: 46.1.3


Bibliography
Singer, Robert T. and Melinda Takeuchi.  Edo  Art in Japan 1615-1868.  New Haven and London:  Yale University Press., 1998.

Marks
On verso in pencil, lower right: Jo 36a. Japanese text incorporated into the image. On mat in pencil: 10/94, Goyu Station, 46.1.3. Signed: Hiroshige ga.

Medium
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.

Object Description
Color woodblock print with an image of travellers in the middle of a street, which is flanked by buildings. Women in the building to the right solicit the travellers.

Like Teahouse at Mariko this print shows an evening scene, but the mood is quite different.  While samurai were accorded differential treatment when they stopped for a night's lodging, commoners were occasionally met with a directness bordering on ferocity.  Keen competition for travelers' business led to a no-holds-barred approach, from sleeve grabbing to a stranglehold. Seldom in Japanese art (or any art) has such a range of facial expressions been presented: the agonized grimace of the man being choked, the bovine determination of his assailant, the satisfied malevolence of the ringleader, and finally, the resigned boredom of the woman watching from the window, who probably witnesses similar scenes every evening.  The guest soaking his feet inside politely averts his eyes.  The names of the artist, publisher, carver, designer, and printer are cleverly included in the advertised fare of the inn, providing rare documentation of otherwise little-known participants in printmaking.


I

Publisher
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi).

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