Hiroshige: Flying Kites on New Year's Day at Kasumigaseki
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo Hyakkei)
Specific groups of Edo residents enjoy a festive New Year morning. We see kites decorating the sky above and kadomatsu pine decorations on either side of the street. Henry Smith II identifies every specific person in terms of what their role was in the New Year festivities. In the center is a procession of daikagura performers who performed lion dances as representatives of Ise Shrine. The leader carries a pole topped with gohei, a ceremonial item that brought purification and hence good luck. To the left of this group is a pair of manzai performers and then a sushi maker carrying a high stack of boxes for delivery. At far right is a fanbox-buyer, buying back unused presentation gift fans to be resold at a discount. The coloring and bokashi on this very early example are very close to a first edition.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Literature: Henry Smith II: Hiroshige One Hundred Famous View of Edo, plate 2.
Seal: Censor’s seal “Aratame” and Date seal: 1st month of Snake year (1857)
Signature: Hiroshige ga