名所江戸百景 品川御殿やま

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Gotenyama Hill at Shinagawa 名所江戸百景 品川御殿やま

UTAGAWA Hiroshige 歌川広重(初代)/画

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo is a series of prints of famous places that is regarded as one of Hiroshige’s masterpieces. The publication of this best-selling series began in 1856 and continued until 1859, a year after Hiroshige’s death. This series initiated a new format: presenting a hundred views of famous places in Edo. It also includes many spots that had not been treated as famous places in earlier works. In its innovative choice of places as well as its scale, it was an ambitious series indeed. Gotenyama is a hill that juts out from the southern tip of the Shinagawa plateau. Yoshino cherry trees were planted there in the Kanbun era (1661-73), and a few decades later, in the Kyoho era (1716-36), the spot was famous for its cherry blossoms. Since it also offered a superb view of Edo Bay (today’s Tokyo Bay), Gotenyama became one of the most popular of Edo’s many cherry-blossom-viewing spots. This print depicts, on the upper left, the grove known as the thousand cherry trees and frolicking people who have come to enjoy the cherry blossoms. The cherry trees are not, however, the only important point in this print. The violently jagged surface of the cliff, depicted front and center, is the result of digging earth there to build a defensive battery (odaiba) in preparation for the return of Commodore Perry and his flotilla of Black Ships. Below the cliff is a muddy area; a plank bridge has been laid across it. The result is a highly realistic view, quite different from the lyrical landscapes we usually associate with Hiroshige. By depicting both the beauty of the floating world and the sad state of a famous place visited many times, he seems to be expressing resignation to the changes occurring, moment by moment, with the passage of time.
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Gotenyama Hill at Shinagawa
Collection ID
UTAGAWA Hiroshige
Creation Date
1856 19世紀 
36cm x 24.4cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

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