Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 44, Yokkaichi, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 15/16 in. x 13 3/4 in. (22.7 cm. x 34.93 cm.)
On mat in pencil: Jo XIX ser 44, no. 397, Yokkaichi Station 44, Mie River, Hiroshige. In ink on mat: Exhibited Nov-Dec 1987 Clark Museum. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Censor's seal: Kiwame.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with an image of a man on a dock chasing his hat, which has blown off in the wind.
Like Kuwana, Yokkaichi was an important harbor town, permitted by the shogunate to connect directly to Miya by sea. With ninety-eight inns for travelers, it was the fourth largest town on the Tokaido Road. Hiroshige, however, chose to depict a lonely scene outside of the town, far from the noise of travelers. On a narrow road connecting to a simple bridge crossing the Mie River, a man chases his hat, blown off by a gust of wind. The willow tree waves violently, and the cape of the man is blown to the point of ripping. This kind of event probably occurred often in the countryside; Hiroshige's scene evokes, in complete silence, both a sense of the situation's humor, and also a profound compassion toward the men, and toward human beings in general.
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p.207 )
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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