Picture Scroll of Princess Sazanomiya Leaving the Kyoto Capital 楽宮下向絵巻

Aoki Masatada 青木正忠/画

This picture scroll depicts the journey from Kyoto, in 1804, of Princess Sazanomiya, sixth daughter of Imperial Prince Arisugawaranomiya Orihito, to marry the twelfth Tokugawa shogun, Ieyoshi, in Edo. This grand scroll is about 18 meters long. It begins by depicting the staff of the honjin, an inn designated for daimyo use at a post station, greeting the princess’s party and includes paintings of the procession on its way to Edo and the scenery along the Nakasendō highway. The people watching the procession arrive at the honjin at the start of the scroll are identifiable as almost entirely women and children. That is probably because males aged 15 and above were prohibited from observing the procession, for a princess marrying a shogun was not to be exposed to the eyes of other men, after all. The princess herself, the central character in the story being told here, is not depicted, but she is symbolized a notice with the character 御 (an honorific, here meaning “imperial”) and a scarlet umbrella. That mode of depiction can be seen on other picture scrolls with the same subject and indicates the noble status of the shogun’s bride-to-be.
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Picture Scroll of Princess Sazanomiya Leaving the Kyoto Capital
Collection ID
Aoki Masatada
Creation Date
1804 19世紀 
31.5cm x 1828cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

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