The dark color pallette and black strip across the top indicate that the image is set at night. A mountain with pine trees and steps leading to the top loom over the image. The sea appears behind the mountain in the distance.
The pyramid shaped hills in the background of this print are those of the boiling houses and salt piles of Gyôtoku’s salt industry. A ferry boat, or watashi-bune, carries passengers in the foreground of this picture. In this print a shipman steers using the large rudder located in the back of the boat.
Salt was an important commodity during the Edo period. It was used in a number of rituals and as a method of purification: to this day salt is used to purify the sumo ring before the beginning of a match. One of the most important uses of salt was in the preservation of food, in particular fish. In Edo the price of salt was high, as the long, flat, hard-packed beaches at Gyôtoku were one of the only places in the area suitable for harvesting this precious resource.
The pyramid shaped hills in the background of this print are those of the boiling houses and salt piles of Gyôtoku’s unique industry. Gyôtoku was also the final destination for many ferry boats that ran along the network of Edo canals. One such boat, or watashi-bune, carries passengers in the foreground of this picture. It was typical for two shipmen to pilot these ferries. In this print one steers using the large rudder located in the back of the boat. Long bamboo poles were also used to pilot watashi-bune through shallow waters.
Woodcut print. Title in a red rectangle in the upper right hand corner of the print. Colors are primarily greens and blues for the landscape and clothing, while the hats and straw mats are a faded yellow, and the trees are a solid brown.
Group of three travelers walking along a path (the Tokaido Road) underneath trees. Another group of travelers is seated to the left under a tree. To the right is a man reclining under another tree. The road extends in the background into the distance, noticable by the line of trees that follow it. Smaller images of other travelers can be seen in the distance.
This piece depicts boats decorated with lanterns, the evening sky and festivities. The shore is lined with teahouses set up for the event. The title for the print is located in the upper right corner in a red box.
The series Rokujuhoshu meisho zue depicts a famous place from each of the 68 provinces and the capital, Edo. Each of the 69 prints in this series, and the contents page, is a vertical composition.
In Tsushima, Aichi Province, on June 14th and 15th a festival is held, called Tenno Matsuri. Teahouses like the ones seen in this print would have been set up along the riverbank for the occasion in honor of the deity Gozu Tenno. This piece depicts boats decorated with lanterns, which would normally have close to 400 paper lanterns, decorating the evening sky and festivities. This particular arrangement is based off of the 1844 illustration "rokugatsu jyuyon nichi yuu" by Odagiri Shunko, from Owari Meisho Zue.
This print illustrates a scene in a jôruri play based on history. Ishidômaru is the childhood name of a figure better known to history as Kûkai, the early 9th-century founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan. In this scene, the child Ishidômaru has come to the remote mountain of Mt. Kôya in search of his father, a warrior who had taken the tonsure. When the two finally met, the father refused to recognize his son. The rejection of family ties was one of the basic tenets of monastic life in Buddhism.
This vertical print frames a view of a landscape with an up close view of a bird in the upper right corner that takes up about thirty percent of the image.
The viewer is positioned alongside the bird, circling the sky above the twin peaks of a mountain. A crate floats in the water below while smaller birds flocking around it. Snow covers the ground.
The signature and title markings are in the upper right corner, and in the middle along the left side above the landscape.
In this series Hiroshige combines his mastery of kacho-e and landscapes, while incorporating innovative compositions and color choices. His use of vertical format literally turned ukiyo-e on its side, transforming the traditional horizontal structure of woodblock prints. He also makes use of striking figure-ground framing techniques, of which this print, Fukugawa, Ten-million Tsubo Plain at Suzaki, may be the most famous example.
The viewer is positioned alongside a black kite, or tonbi, circling the sky above the twin peaks of Mount Tsukuba. In Japanese culture the tonbi is understood as an inexorable hunter and scavenger, and her favorite food is fabled to be abura age, or thin pieces of fried tofu. This tonbi may be after a floating crate of abura age below or the smaller birds flocking around it.
Several travellers are walking along the river. There are trees on both sides of the road. A big round moon is above the village houses in the distance. One the other side of the river is a lush forest.
The snow scene of a village under the mountain. The house roofs, the bridge over the river, the mountain and trees are all covered by the snow. Three birds fly above the riverbank, lingering around the snow-covered pine branches.
The dark color pallette and the moon indicate that the image is set at night. There are people standing in the water, bending over in search of fish. Others stand on the bank, helping with the fishing process. Also shown are the silhouettes of a bridge over the water and the mountains in the distance.
In this print, sophisticated use of soft lines, rounded forms, dark sky, and subtle tones convey the utter silence and weariness of the figures as they trudge through the night-time snow near Kambara. Writing is centered at the top of the image, as well as aloong the bottom left wide with a seal. Three figures walk through the snow.
The scene conveys a sense of silence, and weariness. The mountain village at nightfall is slowly buried by a steady snow fall, and three people trudge through the snow, leaving footprints, one with his head covered by a half open umbrella, burdened by the weight of the cold and snow.
In this print, sophisticated use of soft lines, rounded forms, dark sky, and subtle tones convey the utter silence and weariness of the figures as they trudge through the night-time snow near Kambara.
This print is said to be the best in the series, and among Hiroshige's finest work. The scene conveys a sense of silence, and weariness. The villagers hunch under the weight of their loads, the snow and cold, and the night sky.