Hiroshige I, Bank of Oi River, Landscape

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Hiroshige I Ando (1797-1858)
Title: 25. Distant Bank of Oi River
Series: Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido
Publisher: Hoei-do
Date: c.1833-1834
Dimensions: 36.1 x 23.2 cm
Condition: Trimmed. Some pinholes and restored corners. Fold mark. 


During the Edo period (1603-1869), domestic routes throughout the country were greatly expanded. Yet, bridge construction across Japan's many rivers were still in their early days. The Tokugawa shogunate created stability throughout the nation, democratising travel for all classes in the feudal society after a tumultuous period of warfare preceding. In particular, the Tokaido road between the old capital of Kyoto and the new capital of Edo was crowded with pilgrims and daimyo, Japanese feudal lords. The latter could often be seen due to the sankin kotai, a law requiring alternate attendance between Edo and a daimyo's fief. The policy served the Tokugawa bakufu greatly, placing the upper ranks of the samurai class in a financial stranglehold. Such high standing warlords had to travel according to their status, accompanied by their entire retinue and thus contributing to a booming industry along the routes to the new city. Here, the view shows a party carrying their luggage across the Oi River, with the series of layered landscapes creating a sense of distance without the use of perspective. In the background, the dark mountain chain contrasts with the coloured hills, using bokashi gradation of sumi ink, Prussian blue and red to punctuate the scene.


More Information
Print Format Oban (Horizontal)
Artist Name Hiroshige Ando
Title 25. Distant Bank of Oi River
Subject Landscapes
Dimensions 36.1 x 23.2 cm
Series The Fifty-Three Station of the Tokaido
Publisher Hoeido