Artist: Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858)
Title: 25. Kanaya: View of the Ōi River from the Uphill Road
Series: The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizo
Dimensions: 25.4 x 38 cm
Hakone hachiri wa uma demo kosu ga, kosu ni kosarenu Ōigawa
Even horses can cross eight ri of Hakone, but the Ōi River is hard to get over in any way
From the vantage of a hill, the viewer looks down and out at the vast land before them until hitting the surreally white facade of Mt. Fuji. Dotted out all the way towards the sacred mountain are small silhouettes of travellers and pilgrims wading through the Ōi River. During the Edo period (c.1603-1868), an edict was passed that banned the construction of bridges and even ferryboats across rivers en route to the shogun’s capital. Along with other more extreme measures, this was enacted as a means of security for the newly formed Tokugawa government seeking to firmly retain its hold of power. For the devoted and adventurous who wished to travel to Mt. Fuji, the only way to reach it was to pass through the river themselves.