Table of Contents, from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Baisotei Gengyo (Japanese, 1817–1880)

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn, New York City, United States

Published by Uoya Eikichi in 1856–58, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo proved immensely popular, and to meet the demand a deluxe edition was assembled. This decorative table of contents was published in 1858, after the completion of the individual prints of the deluxe series.

Since Hiroshige died earlier that year, the series most likely had been forced to a premature close. Baisotei Gengyo (1817–1880), an artist best known for his decorative book jackets, was chosen to create this table of contents. While not an ukiyo-e artist proper, he had designed the table of contents for Hiroshige's Views of the Sixty-Odd Provinces in 1856.

The 118 prints in the series are here presented in groups according to the four seasons, a mode of classification deeply ingrained in Japanese art and literature, and followed in this exhibition. Abbreviated titles of the prints are arranged in the table of contents in five blocks, each with a distinctive decorative technique. The titles of spring scenes appear in two separate rectangles at the top; summer scenes are listed in a fan pattern in the middle; autumn and winter scenes are shown below. Production dates for the prints are given in a vertical date seal in the left or right border of each print.

The overall geometric pattern comprised of intricately designed parts is characteristic of late nineteenth-century Japanese decoration. The cartouche to the lower left offers the series title. Surmounting the title is Hiroshige's name and the advertisement that this series is his "grand farewell performance.' Below is the name and address of the publisher: Uoya (or "Fishmonger," apparently his former profession) Eikichi of Ueno Hirokōji.

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  • Title: Table of Contents, from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
  • Creator: Baisotei Gengyo (Japanese, 1817–1880)
  • Original Source: Brooklyn Museum collection
  • Medium: Woodblock print on paper
  • Rights: no known copyright restrictions
  • File name: 30.1478.119_PS1.jpg
  • Dimensions: Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm) Page: 14 3/8 x 9 3/16 in. (36.5 x 23.3 cm)
  • Date: 10th month of 1858
  • Credit line: Gift of Anna Ferris
  • Collection: Asian Art
  • Accession number: 30.1478.119