Meiji prints

  Design: Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)  
  Print title: February: A snowy twilight at Matsuchiyama hill  
  Series title: Views of the famous places in Tokyo  
  Size: 35.1 x 23.6 cm (ōban)  
  Original woodblock print    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
Previous Home Next

Kiyochika Sumida River At Night


Special effects: embossing (kara-zuri) on the snow.

Published in 1896 by Inoue Kichijirrō.

A simultaneous view of the prints in this triptych can be seen here.

This triptych offers a great view from Mokujima in Tokyo towards the west-bank of the Sumida river. In the background we see the west-bank of the Sumida river, with on the left Shōden shrine located on top of Matsuchiyama hill, and Imado bridge crossing the mouth of the San’yabori canal leading up to the famous Yoshiwara district. On both sides of this bridge many restaurants are located. More to the right Imadochō quarter is displayed. In the foreground we see the Takeya ferry making its crossing from Mimeguri Inari shrine in Mokujima to Imado bridge on the west-bank of the river.

This middle part of the triptych shows a long raft of lashed logs on the Sumida river; from its tiny thatched shelter rises a delicately printed wisp of smoke. Near the west bank two more takasebune boats transporting cargo can also be seen.

On this print Henry D. Smith (1988) comments: ‘ Second month: Matsuchi Hill at Dusk under Snow ... is the finest of all Kiyochika’s triptychs of the years after the war with China. The composition reflects both the influence of traditional painting, with large areas of unprinted white, and Kiyochika’s own Western-influenced taste for the use of enlarged foreground objects. The object in this case is the Takeya ferry that crossed the Sumida river from Mimeguri shrine to Imado bridge at the entrance to San’ya Canal.’

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


Provenance: Collecting Japanese Prints (CJP)

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional