Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 51, Minakuchi,, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 3/4 in. x 13 3/4 in. (222.25 mm x 349.25 mm)
On mat in pencil: Johnson Collection n.400 XX set 51. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Censor's seal: Kiwame.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with an image of villagers laboring.
Minakuchi lay at the point that the land began to level out after the mountainous region of Tsuchiyama. In the left foreground three women, one with a baby on her back, are busy shaving and drying gourds. Mentioned in the cartouche as being a famous regional product, kampyo, or dried strips of gourds, were used in a variety of Japanese dishes. The woman in the center, probably the mother, is cutting a gourd into small slices, which will be sliced again into long strips. Two other women, probably her daughters, hang the strips in a rope strung around bamboo sticks. Across the street a man is also hanging them on fences. Between them, on the pathway, a farmer passes with his tools on his shoulder. It is a tranquil scene of local people working hard to make kampyo for travelers.
The blue tembokashi from the top downward is echoed in the mountains. Green bokashi in the foreground defines a grassy area where this group of people work.
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p.250 )
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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