Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 31, Maisaka, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 13/16 in. x 13 15/16 in. (223.84 mm x 354.01 mm)
On mat in pencil: Jo XVIII n. 31, 385, Maisaka Station 31, View of Imagiri, 46.1.28, Hiroshige. Signed: Hiroshige ga.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Lake Hamana and the ocean were separated until 1499, when an earthquake and the subsequent tidal wave, or tsunami, washed away a portion of the neck of land separating them. The portion of land that remained became known as Imagiri (New Break) Promontory. Hiroshige depicts Hamana Lake in the foreground, with the promontory in the middle ground. Beyond its head, at the left, we see the ocean stretching to the horizon and the sails of two distant boats. The high peak at the tip of the promontory is not part of the real topography, but is Hiroshige's imaginary creation, added for compositional effect (Kondo 1965, no.31). At the left, below the green bank, three erect burlap sails suggest the presence of a dock.
The lake and the ocean are colored blue by the bokashi technique from the bottom upward and the horizon downward, leaving the middle of the sheet a plain white, alluding to the light reflecting on the water.
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p. 194)
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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