Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 3, Kawasaki, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
9 1/16 in. x 14 1/16 in. (23.02 cm. x 35.72 cm.)
Singer, Robert T. and Melinda Takeuchi. Edo Art in Japan 1615-1868. New Haven and London: Yale University Press., 1998.
On mat in pencil: Kawasaki Station 3, Ferry on the Rokugo River, Jo XIV 31.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with an image of a small boat ferrying passangers across the Rokugo river to a bank with small buildings.
The third print in Hiroshige's Tokaido series shows the Rokugo ferry, which crosses the Tama River at Kawasaki, a sight the artist depicted a number of times. The view is across the Tama River to the west, leading the eye with a great semicircular sweep along the path of the ferry heading toward the left, then back to the right through the picturesque thatch roofs of the village of Kawasaki (now an extension of Tokyo's urban sprawl), and on toward Mount Fuji on the horizon. Hiroshige has dwelt with loving detail on the scene, investing it with his usual anecdotal warmth. The ferry is laden with a low-ranking samurai, his women, and some tradesmen, one strapping the load to his shoulder-pole in preparation to disembark. On the far shore a more diverse group, consisting of a rich person in a palanquin, his squatting, seminaked bearer, his well-dressed retinue, and a pack horse laden with enormous barrels, waits to board for the return trip. Visible in the background is the ticket office, where yet another customer puts in for passage; a solitary log-poler pushes off from shore. Crossing cost ten coppers for all but samurai, who traveled free of charge. Sheaves of dried rice straw to the right mark the season as autumn, adding to the lyrical quality of the print.
Publisher's seals: Senkakudo and Hoeido.
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