Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 41, Narumi, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 15/16 in. x 13 11/16 in. (227.01 mm x 347.66 mm)
On verso in pencil, lower right: Jo XIV 41. On mat in pencil: Hiroshige 46.1.8, Narumi Station. Signed: Hiroshige ga.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with an image of travelers on a roadway.
The town of Narumi was famous for its local industry, especially for the beautiful tie-dyed (shibori) textiles, mostly of cotton. The basic tie-dye colors were indigo blue and orange-red. HIroshige illustrates two shops selling bolts of shirobi cloth and kimonos. The red vertical cartouche mentions the subtitile, Narumi meibutsu Arimatsu shibori (A Famous Product of Narumi: Arimatsu Tie-dyed Fabrics). Arimatsu, a town immeadeatly to the northeast of Narumi, also produced similar textiles. The products were known as Narumi shibori, Arimatsu shibori, or Arimatsu Narumi shibori.
The stores face the road with their wide-open fronts, where the proprietors hang ready-made kimonos and lengths of cloth. Bolts of fabric are neatly piled on tables. One customer in the store at the left is engaged in talking business with the salesperson.
Hiroshige rightly pays attention to the costume of the female travelers. Although travel in the nineteenth century was quite common, it was still dangerous for women. They were advised to wear inconspicuous clothing and a simple hairstyle. Still, they loved to dress in good kimonos with eye-catching designs. To conceal this finery, they wore a plain outer kimono of cotton, much like a duster coat, tucked up around the hip with a cord. The four women in this print are dressed in this fashion.
This is a late edition of this print, with color that differs from earlier ones.
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p.204 )
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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