This image from Hiroshige's Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō series of prints shows a group of travelers in front of the Mishima Taisha (Great Shrine). A major shrine in Izu Province (modern Shizuoka Prefecture), Mishima became popular over the centuries with warriors who prayed to its deity for victory in battle. In this print, Hiroshige depicts travelers setting out in the early morning mist after staying at one of the local inns. Only the travelers and the trees in the foreground are rendered with black outlines. The rest of the elements in the scene, including the shrine gate, lanterns, figures and trees behind them are printed with blue and grayish-brown color blocks to suggest an eerie otherworldliness around the shrine.
On mat in pencil: Jo XVI set 12, Hiroshige, Mishima Station 12, Morning Mist, 46.1.56. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Censor's seal: Kiwame.
Nishiki-e, horizonal oban; colored ink on paper.
After the rugged and harsh Hakone Pass, travelers arrived at the relatively level terrain of Mishima. Using the famous shrine at Mishima as a key feature, Hiroshige depicts travelers departing in the mist of early morning. The bearers carrying a man in a palanquin; a mounted man wearing a raincoat and a straw hat is led by a groom, who is wrapped in a straw mat. They are in turn led by a luggage carrier. Their huddled postures indicate the shiveringly cold morning air. As this compact group passes before the shrine, three figures walk away in the opposite direction, the definition of their forms obscured by the heavy mist.
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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