Hiroshige II, Gankiro Tea House, One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces


Artist: Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826-1869)
Title: 21. The Gankiro Tea-house at Yokohama, Bushu Province
Series: One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Date: 1860
Dimensions: 24.8 x 36.2 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print. 


The Gankirō Teahouse was a lavish establishment that tended to a foreign clientele near the end of the Edo period (c. 1603-1868). Situated in the port of Yokohama, the town was in frequent contact with foreign nations after the relaxation of Japan’s strict closed door policy. Various artists have explored the intermingling of foreigners and Japanese at the Gankirō Teahouse during this time, undoubtedly intrigued and inspired by the novel access to faraway lands after a long period of isolationism. The depictions of the Gankirō Teahouse often focus on its extravagant interior or the carousing and dinner parties that took place there. In contrast, Hiroshige II shows the quiet exterior of the teahouse amidst the flowering cherry blossoms in daylight.

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 FormatOban (Vertical)
ArtistHiroshige II Utagawa (1826 - 1869)
Size24.8 x 36.2 cm
Condition ReportPinhole. Residue from previous backing.
SeriesOne Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces::Hiroshige II Utagawa
publisherUoya Eikichi:1859-1861