Hiroshige: Station Hiratsuka, number 8
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Title: Station Hiratsuka, number 8
Series: “Fifty-three Parallels for the Tôkaidô Road” (Tôkaidô gojûsan tsui)
Date: ca. 1845
From a creeping dark cloud, lightning strikes the banks of the Ba’nyû River. Gripping his sword hilt and making a stand, Shigenari glares towards the dark elements that are wreaking havoc on his day. This day was the opening ceremony of a new bridge across the river, built as a devotional offering to his decease wife. The river had previously been called the Sagami River, but after this incident in the 12th century, the name was changed to Ba’nyû (”Horse-Entering”), as the attending shogun Yoritomo’s horse was so startled by the thunderbolts that he jumped into the river and perished. The river behind Shigenari has kicked up immense and threatening waves that look to belong in an ocean during a gale. The lightning bolts have been rendered with an orange lead (tan) pigment that oxidized in a unique way on each print, so no two images will be exactly the same.
Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. Repaired wormage near margin.
Publisher: Iseya Ichiemon
Literature: See Tôkaidô Texts and Tales, edited by Andreas Marks, page 53, plate 8.
Seal: Carver: Horikô Fusajirô
Signature: Hiroshige ga