Artist: Hiroshige Ando I (1797-1858)
Title: 10. Dawn at Kanda Myōjin Shrine
Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Dimensions: 23.8 x 35.4 cm
At the time of Hiroshige Ando’s series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, the city (now modern day Tokyo) was relatively new. Japan’s history was arguably dominated by Kyoto, which was considered the artistic centre home to the emperor. The newly established city of Edo by the warrior class of the shogunate sparked a tale of two cities vying for cultural supremacy. In this way, the patronage of Kanda Myōjin Shrine had somewhat political implications. Revered in its precincts was the warrior Taira no Masakado (?-940) who rebelled against the Kyoto government and attempted to take control of western Japan in a similar fashion as the Tokugawa shogunate.
Although the shrine was known for its festivals, Hiroshige shows this historical place eerily still at dawn, a quiet scene of just a few shrine attendants looking up at the morning sky.