東京二十景 芝増上寺

Twenty Views of Tokyo : Zojoji Temple in Shiba 東京二十景 芝増上寺

Kawase Hasui 川瀬巴水/画

A woman, holding up a partially open umbrella, is walking in a mild snowstorm. The location is Shiba, Tokyo, in front of the main gate of Zojoji Temple, which had been located there since the Edo period. This work is by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), an artist active in the Taisho and Showa famed for his landscape prints. This print is one of a series of twenty in which he depicted Tokyo landscapes after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. These works thus date from the period in which Tokyo, based on its post-quake recovery plan, was becoming a modern city. The figure of the woman walking in the snowstorm, however, is in the tradition of the “beauty in the snow” image, one of the favored renderings of beautiful women in the Edo period. With the vivid color contrast between the white snow, the red gate and the large tree seeming to jut out in the foreground, the composition calls to mind the world of Utagawa Hiroshige. In contrast to prints produced by other modern print artists, Hasui’s woodblock prints were produced using the same method as that used for Edo-period ukiyo-e prints. Hasui, as the eshi, the artist or designer, drew the design for the print. Then a specialist known as the horishi, the carver, carved the woodblocks, and another specialist, the surishi, or printer, printed from the woodblocks, producing the finished work. Hasui’s prints also include works symbolizing the new, modern Tokyo. But, as in this example, he also left us landscape prints with a strong flavor of Edo, not only in terms of technique but also tradition and atmosphere.
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Twenty Views of Tokyo : Zojoji Temple in Shiba
Collection ID
Kawase Hasui
Creation Date
1925 20世紀 
38.8cm x 26.5cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

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