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Tile Kilns and Hashiba Ferry, Sumida River (Sumidagawa Hashiba no Watashi Kawaragawa), No. 37 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn, New York City, United States

An ancient literary reference is evoked in this scene viewed from the yard of a tile-maker. The small white gulls in the foreground are miyakodori, or capital birds. Their fame dates back to an episode in the tenth-century epic Tales of Ise, in which some travelers from Kyoto spot an unfamiliar bird while crossing the Sumida River. Learning from the ferryman that it is a capital bird, one lonely courtier composes this verse:

If you are what your name implies,
Let me ask you, Capital-bird,
Does all go well
With my beloved?

Translation by Helen McCullough

Details

  • Title: Tile Kilns and Hashiba Ferry, Sumida River (Sumidagawa Hashiba no Watashi Kawaragawa), No. 37 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
  • Creator: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858).
  • Original Source: Brooklyn Museum collection
  • Medium: Woodblock print on paper
  • Rights: no known copyright restrictions
  • File name: 30.1478.37_PS1.jpg
  • Dimensions: Image: 13 3/8 x 9 in. (33.9 x 22.9 cm) Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 7/16 in. (36.2 x 23.9 cm)
  • Date: 4th month of 1857
  • Credit line: Gift of Anna Ferris
  • Collection: Asian Art
  • Accession number: 30.1478.37

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