[江戸城正月登城図 下絵 門前の賑い]

[江戸城正月登城図 下絵 門前の賑い]

In the Edo period, the Otemon Gate was the daimyo entrance to Edo Castle. To enter the castle, a daimyo would have to dismount from his horse and to leave most of his attendants outside the gate. At New Year’s, all the daimyo then resident in Edo would call upon the castle during the first three days of the year. As this sketch shows us, the area from the Otemon to the Sakashitamon gates would be packed with people. In it we see a line of people moving towards the castle gate. We also see people chatting around palanquins that have been set down, sitting on baggage, even stretched out on the ground beside a horse. The artist has also depicted vendors selling to those enduring the tedious wait. Looking closely, we can see that some are eating or drinking. Stuck out waiting in the cold, they are making the best of the time they have to kill. The work shown here is, as the title indicates, a sketch, a preparatory drawing. We can read the artist’s working by trial and error, pasting an improved rendering over an area he wanted to correct, for example. The Edo-Tokyo Museum collection includes the Folding Screen Painting of Daimyo Calling on the Shogun at Edo Castle on New Year’s Day, which was produced in the Meiji period. Perhaps this sketch ultimately led to a similarly gorgeous, elegant work. In the sketch, however, the human figures are drawn in a simplified, rounded style, giving it the delightful feel of looking at a manga. Its humorous presentation of a classic New Year’s seasonal subject gives this work its distinctive edge.
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Collection ID
Creation Date
73.5cm x 82cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

Other items of Edo-Tokyo Museum (7952)