No.1 "Nihonbashi: Morning Scene" from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido

Fine Arts The Japanese Prints: Ancient and Modern

Item Info

Item No: facjp00034
Title: No.1 "Nihonbashi: Morning Scene" from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido
Media Type: Woodcuts
Source: Print and Picture Collection

"Nihombashi, the 'Bridge of Japan', was considered during the Edo period to mark the very center of Edo. It was the starting point of the Tokaido and the place from which all distances to all parts of Japan were reckoned. The bridge itself was a wooden structure erected by the Tokugawa government in 1603. Its length was approximately 55.4 meters."

from "The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido by Hiroshige", Tokyo, Japan. Heibonsha Ltd., Publishers, 1960. plate 1


Hiroshige depicts the beginning of the Tokaido road that connects Edo (modern day Tokyo) to Kyoto.


notecard with print 

Station 1

Nihonbashi: Morning Scene 

A daimyo and his attendants cross Edo's Nihonbashi as they start out on a journey toward the daimyo's fief. The time is presumable four o'clock in the morning, when the wooden gates of the district (the kido), which frame the composition of either side, were first opened after having been closed for the night. In the background are somber, early morning clouds, suggesting that the first rays of the sun have not yet struck the city. Near the left-hand gate are a group of fishmongers, in whose baskets the bonito seem to be still alive - symbolizing the freshness of Eds just before dawn. The Nihonbashi district was the hub of the city, bustling with trade and traffic; there were a number of shops in the district, as well asinss, where waery travelers approaching Edo rested on completion of their journey. The symbol of the shogun's capital, Nihonbashi is still the point for measuing distances from the capital.


Image Dimensions Width: 22 cm
Call Number: Woodblock Prints - The Fifty-three Stations of the T?kaid? Road
Creator Name: Hiroshige, Utagawa, 1797-1858 - Artist

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