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HIROSHIGE Japanese Woodblock Print 100 VIEWS OF EDO - THE PINE OF SUCCESS

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HIROSHIGE Japanese Woodblock Print 100 VIEWS OF EDO - THE PINE OF SUCCESS

HIROSHIGE

Pine of Success and Oumayagashi, Asakusa River

Number 61 from the series 100 Famous Views of Edo


Date: Showa era printing from recarved woodblocks
Size: 10.5" x 15.5"
Condition: VG, minor flaws as shown
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Documentation: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo Brazillier, 1986, print 61


IT IS A CLEAR STARLIT EVENING ON THE SUMIDA RIVER. We see a distant horizon dramatizing the early summer night. We are reminded of the workaday world as two ferries pass each other in mid-river. This is the Oumayagashi Ferry, the name taken from the landing out of sight to the left.

Hanging out over the river from the upper left is the most famous of the several pine trees named in the titles of the series, the Pine of Success. Its distinction lay in its striking placement at the end of the middle pier of the bakufu's huge Asakusa rice granary. The pine's origins are obscured in legend, but by the mid-eighteenth century, it was already an established Edo landmark particularly for those headed for the Yoshiwara by boat. In this context, "success" meant getting one's money's worth in the pleasure quarters. That is surely the destination, for example, of the small boat with its single passenger in the left center of the print.


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