Suido Bridge and Surugadai (Suidobashi Surugadai), No. 48 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
Without the three immense carp banners, this view would have been a classic depiction of samurai Edo, looking southwest over the densest single concentration of samurai households in the city, from Surugadai on the left through Banchō in the distance. The banners and streamers indicate that the time is the Boy's Festival, the fifth day of the Fifth Month. The three carp are standards used by commoners in imitation of the military streamers, which they were prohibited from flying. The banners drew on a Chinese legend of a fish so strong that it could leap a waterfall—an image considered appropriate for young boys. This view thus seems to depict witty merchant-class mimicry of the samurai version of the Boy's Festival.
5th month of 1857
Edo Period, Ansei Era
Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm)
Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.3 cm) (show scale)
No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Seals in top margin: date seal and censor seal.
Gift of Anna Ferris
This view celebrates the Boy's Festival, which takes place the 5th day of the 5th month. The scene looks across the Kanda River, over the expanse of the densest single concentration of samurai in the city, extending from Surugadai on the left through Bancho in the distance. A samurai procession passes over the Suido Bridge in the lower right. The tall banners, known as "fukinagashi" (military streamers) and the vertical "nobori" banners with portraits of Shoki, the Demon Queller of Chinese legend indicate the time is the Boys Festival, the fifth day of the fifth month. It should be noted that the designation of the month "i5"/1857 shown above, indicates that it was an extra or "intercalary" month inserted to let the calendar catch up. It was a practice for each of the samurai households to fly the banners shown here, celebrating a boy of age six or seven. The three large carps, by contrast, are marks of the "choinin" city and were used by comers for the Boys Festival imitating the military "fukinagashi," which they were prohibited from flying. According to Chinese legend, the paper and later silk carps signify a fish so strong and persistent that it could leap a waterfall. As noted in the Introduction to this series, Hiroshige himself was of samurai origin, a genuine hereditary retainer of the shogun, qualified to wear two swords and to hold formal office within a bakufu fire brigade until age thirty-six. The center shows a black free-standing fire tower. Hiroshige was undoubtedly familiar with this part of town.
This item is not on view
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Suido Bridge and Surugadai (Suidobashi Surugadai), No. 48 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 5th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.48 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.48_PS1.jpg)
overall, 30.1478.48_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.