Fujisawa Net Museum




Famous Places of the Toukaidou The Lake at Hakone and Gongen-sha (Hakone Shrine)


Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige Production date: 1851 (Kaei 4) The Lake at Hakone and Gongen-sha (Hakone Shrine), from the series Famous Places of the Toukaidou With the mountains of Hakone at its background, the landscape of the Lake Ashino-ko is illustrated. The horizontal indication at the right of the picture “Sai-no Kawara” (Riverside of Sai: Children’s Limbo) was a famous for the Mecca of the devotees for Jizou Shinkou (Jizou Worship. Jizou is a bodhisattva who looks over children, travelers, and the underworld.), and it is said many images of Buddha and pagodas made by stones are situated by the lake. The sign on the left below is the indication of “Gongen-dou”, an approach that leads to Hakone Shrine known as Hakone Gongen. This is an e-baisho (anthology of the seventeen syllables Japanese haiku poems with related pictures) that a variety of poems written by the notable contemporary poets from the haikai poetry circles are allotted with the pictures of famous places of the Toukaidou, as a hokku-shu (anthology hokku or haiku poems ) appears in pictures. This series was the changed title version of “Toukaidou Meisho Hokku-shu (The Hokku-shu of Famous Places of the Toukaidou)”, published by Eiraku-ya Jousuke in 1851, and originally the format of this picture was hanpon or book style. However when this version was made, the landscapes of Edo to Izu were re-edited as a gajou (folded picture book) format, thus the readers can appreciate each landscape as the independent picture. When Hiroshige produced this work, he was also commissioned to paint nikuhitsu-ga (paintings) from Tendou clan. Therefore the expressions such as the composition with natural dimension and bluish pale touch of the color in this series are influenced from the painting expressions.


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