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Niijuku Ferry, No. 93 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

This print is similar in theme and composition to the view of Kawaguchi Ferry in number 20. Both are views of ferry crossings on major roads leading out of Edo, and as the most distant points in the series for their respective directions (north for Kawaguchi and northeast here), they serve to mark the outer geographical limits of the series as a whole. It is for this reason that both have the look of straightforward topographical prints, important more to fix boundaries than to highlight famous places.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 2nd month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Date and censor seal at top margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.93
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1930, provenance not yet documented; by 1930, acquired by Anna Ferris of Summit, NJ; 1930, gift of Anna Ferris to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The Niijuku Ferry crossed the Nakagawa River on the Mito Highway. The local settlement on the Edo side was known as Kameari, and the ferry took its name from the larger and older town of Niijuku on the far side. There is some controversy as to whether Hiroshige has shown the ferry from Kameari (that is, the Edo side looking east) or from Niijuku. Ishii Kendo believed the view was from Niijuku, and Miyao Shigeo favored the Kameari side, where one would have found two restaurants (one on the right and one on the left, not visible here) that were famous for their carp. Shibui Kiyoshi said Hiroshige was following the "edo meisho zue" view, which seems to be the Kameari side. The author supports the Kameari side for the reasons that a cargo-laden boat seen here was more likely headed toward Edo than away from it. Also, Hiroshige had previously shown the Niijuku Ferry in volume VII of his "Ehon Edo Miyage" and the caption there makes it clear that it is from the Kameari side.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Niijuku Ferry, No. 93 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.93 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.93_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.93_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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