Utagawa Hiroshige


One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Dawn in the Yoshiwara
(Meisho Edo hyakkei: Kakuchu shinonome)

signed Hiroshige ga, published by Eo-ya Eikichi (publisher and date seals on left margin trimmed), 1857, 4th month

oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.9 by 24 cm

A particularly evocative composition of light breaking in the early morning hours of the Yoshiwara, or licensed pleasure quarters, located some distance from Edo. In the right foreground is a bank of blossoming cherry trees, a temporary planting which was arranged every spring on the Nakanocho, the main avenue of the Yoshiwara. To the left we see a cluster of figures: attendants and departing guests with their faces concealed, and a high-ranking courtesan in a bright red outer-robe and wearing her dramatically high geta. The blush of purple on the horizon indicates that the visitors are heading towards the only possible exit from the Yoshiwara, via Omon gate, located off the composition to our left.

Henry D. Smith II, Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1986, pl. 38

price: Sold


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site last updated
July 10, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475