Item No: facjp00035
Title: No.4 "Kanagawa: View of the Embankment" from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido
Print and Picture Collection
"About five and a half miles from Kawasaki travelers arrive at the slightly hilly district of Kanagawa, the site of modern Yokohama. Here the waters of the bay came up to the feet of the teahouses and inns that lined the highway. Twenty-seven years after this print was made, the black ships of Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into these very waters to awaken Japan from it's three-hundred-year sleep."
from "The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido by Hiroshige", Tokyo, Japan. Heibonsha Ltd., Publishers, 1960. plate 4
note card with print
It seems extremely likely that Hiroshige, when he traveled the Tokaido for the first time, had with him a copy of Jippensha Ikku's "Shanks' Mare," which describes Kanagawa in the following words: "There is a row of tea houses on one side of the embankment, all of which are two-storied. The corridors in the tea houses all have banisters, and the view of the seashore is superb." Here we see waitresses tugging at the sleeves of the travelers in an attempt to persuade them to enter the tea houses - and so sweeten for a time what was often a bitter journey.
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Woodblock Prints - The Fifty-three Stations of the T?kaid? Road
Hiroshige, Utagawa, 1797-1858 - Artist