Meiji prints

  Design: Kobayashi Kiyoshika (1847-1915)  
  Title: Sumida river at night  
  Size: 20.3 x 32.2 cm (aiban)  
  Posthumous printing from newly cut woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Kiyochika Sumida River At Night


Originally published in 1881 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 lower right of the print area:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
ko small  
hayashi woods  
kiyo purify Kobayashi
shita intimate Kiyochika

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

Character Reading Meaning Translation
sumi corner  
da rice field  
gawa river Sumida river
yoru night at night

On this print Henry D. Smith (1988) comments: ‘ (This is) ... another view across the (Sumida) river to the west, with the foreground silhouettes of two figures: a man in Japanese dress and Western bowler, holding a cane in one hand and a small lantern in the other, followed by a woman - perhaps a maid from a nearby restaurant guiding him back to the ferry landing. On the distant shore we can make out the unmistakable contours of the entrance to the San’ya canal, with brightly lit restaurants to either side of Imado Bridge and the form of Matsuchi Hill rising to the left.’

For more information on Imado bridge, the San’ya canal, and Matsuchiyama hill, please visit my Ehon Sumidagawa website.


Provenance: Fuji Arts

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