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Open Garden at Fukagawa Hachiman Shrine, No. 68 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)

Asian Art

This brightly colored print shows one of the most famous temple gardens of Edo, that of Eitaiji Temple in the Fukagawa district. One special feature of the Eitaiji Temple garden was that it was open only one short period each year, beginning on the twenty-first day of the Third Month, the occasion of a memorial ceremony for Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Although typically the public was not able to view the blooming of both pink cherries and red azaleas at the same time, the scene Hiroshige depicts here would have been possible every few years thanks to the variability of the lunar calendar.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 8th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.7 cm) Image: 13 1/2 x 9 in. (34.3 x 22.9 cm)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.68
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This scene shows the temple gardens of Eitaiji in the Fukugawa district of Edo, at the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine. This shrine constituted the largest and most popular religious complex east of the Sumida River. The Eitaiji garden was open for only a short period each year. The small hill with the zigzag path is a mini-Fuji, constructed here by members of the Fujiko in 1820. The simultaneous blooming of pink cherries and red azaleas shown here may well be an instance of artistic license. One might also ask why this print is included in the "Summer" group, since cherry trees bloom in the Spring. Eitaiji was abolished in 1871 with the forced segregation of Shinto and Buddhism; much of the garden was finally turned into a playing field after World War II and the mini-Fuji was made into a parking lot in 1965.
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