Hiroshige II Utagawa, Kanda Myojin in the Snow, Landscape


Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826-1869)
Title: Kanda Myojin in the Snow
Series: Fourty-eight Famous Views of Edo
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizo
Date: late 19th century
Size: 18.4 x 25.1 cm
Condition report: Trimmed. Minor brown stains and spots.


As with many of Hiroshige II's prints, those comprising the series 'Forty-Eight Famous Views of Edo' borrowed compositional elements from his teacher Hiroshige I Utagawa. At this point, he had just started using his teacher's name that recently passed away, therefore the prints in this series are signed 'Hiroshige'.


In order to accommodate the expansion of Edo Castle, Kanda shrine was moved to the former Kanda ward in 1603 from the fishing village of Shibasaki. In this print, tall pine trees take the centre view while only a small corner of the shrine is captured on the left. The scene is a peaceful one - it is snowing heavily and the city in the foreground seems to have blended with the white tone. Only a few visitors are seen nearby, fending off the inclement weather with their umbrellas. Hiroshige II uses a printing effect earlier seen in his teacher's designs, with blank areas around objects to suggest heavy snow.

Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826 - 1869)

In the genre of Japanese art, Hiroshige II Utagawa was a woodblock print artist best known for continuing the tradition of Hiroshige I Utagawa in producing landscape prints. Born in Edo (today’s Tokyo), many details of his formative years are unknown, except that he became a pupil of Hiroshige I under the name of Shigenobu. Hiroshige II produced a large number of commissioned work in the 1850s in the style of the elder Hiroshige, and often signed his work ‘Ichiryusai mon’ (student of Ichiryusai, another art name of Hiroshige).

He seems to have married Hiroshige’s daughter Otatsu and inherited Hiroshige’s name following his death in 1858. In 1865 he moved from Edo to Yokohama after dissolving his marriage and began using the name Kisai Rissho. During this decade he produced a number of collaborative print series, particularly with Kunisada, who had earlier worked with Hiroshige I.

His works have often been confounded with those of Hiroshige I, resembling them closely in style, subject, and even signature, particularly in series such as ‘One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces’ (1859-61) that echo his master’s ‘Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces’ (1853-56). ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo’ (1856-58), also mainly completed by Hiroshige I, was finished by Hiroshige II following the former’s death. While the signature on this series of prints remain the same, the later designs show stylistic resemblance to those of Hiroshige II. The artist’s other notable series include ‘Eight Views of the Sumida River’ (1861) and ‘Thirty-six Views of the Eastern Capital’ (1861-62).

More Information
Print FormatChuban
ArtistHiroshige II Utagawa (1826 - 1869)
SubjectLandscapes, Flowers & Botanical
Size18.4 x 25.1 cm
publisherTsutaya Kichizo:1820-1890