Ando Hiroshige (aka Hiroshige),
Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 34, Futakawa,
Ink on Paper
8 13/16 in. x 13 7/8 in. (22.38 cm x 35.24 cm)
Gift of Mrs. J. Stanley Johnson
Signed Hiroshige ga in a red seal; publisher's seal (Hoeido); Kiwame censer's seal.
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print; oban yoko-e.
Ninteenth century Japanese color woodblock print depicting a group of three travellers approaching an inn with a broad plain of baby pine in the background.
Futakawa is now included in the modern city of Toyohashi, in Aichi prefecture. Hiroshige here depicts the spacious Sarugababa Plain, which occupies almost all the picture space. Many small bushes with a few trees are scattered over the gently sloping plain. On the road that cuts through it, two men and women approach a teahouse with a shop sign that reads “Kashiwa Mochi” (Famous delicacy: sweet dumpling wrapped in oak leaf). Another traveler is already in the shop. The highway stations of this time tried to develop local products to sell or to serve to travelers; special foods made of local specialties such as tea, noodles, yam soup, or other distinctive items of the region, such as textiles and paintings. Travelers delighted in tasting local foods and purchasing souvenirs during their arduous journeys on foot. Hiroshige did not overlook this aspect of travelers' interests. The blue bokashi running upward from the road is repeated in the valley beyond the plain. (ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p.197 )
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