Meiji prints

  Design: Kobayashi Kiyoshika (1847-1915)  
  Title: Distant view of Ryōgoku from Moto Yanagi bridge  
  Size: 20.3 x 32.1 cm (aiban)  
  Posthumous printing from newly cut woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Kiyochika Ryogoku From Moto Yanagi Bridge


Originally published in 1879 by publisher Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊治良). This edition published ca. 1950s by publisher Maria Shobo (マリア書房).

Artist’s name in white (from right to left) in bottom of the print area:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
ko small  
hayashi woods  
kiyo purify Designed by
shita intimate Kobayashi
hitsu brush Kiyochika

Print title (from right to left) in bottom margin:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
moto old  
yanagi willow  
hashi bridge  
ryō two  
goku provinces Distant view of
en distant Ryōgoku from
kei view Moto Yanagi bridge

On this print Henry D. Smith (1988) comments: ‘The Moto-Yanagi Bridge (“Former Willow Bridge”) in the title ... was so named because a new Willow Bridge (Yanagibashi) had been built over the Kanda river to the north. Moto-Yanagi bridge itself spanned a small canal that flowed into the Sumida river, but is in fact out of sight in the print; its appearance in the title rather indicates our point of view, as though we had just crossed the bridge and were proceeding north along the west bank of the Sumida, with the silhouette of Ryōgoku Bridge visible in the distance.’

For more information on Moto Yanagi and Ryōgoku bridge, please visit my Ehon Sumidagawa website.


Provenance: Fuji Arts

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