Hiroshige II: Foreigners Visit Asakusa Kinryuzan Temple
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige II
Title: Foreigners Visit Asakusa Kinryuzan Temple
Series: One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces (Shokoku meisho hyakkei)
Japan’s first tourists visit one of Edo’s most famous tourist sites. Fascinating snapshot of a foreign delegation being escorted to Asakusa’s Kinryuzan Temple during cherry blossom season. We see throngs of Japanese stopped dead in their tracks, staring unabashedly at the foreign visitors, who at this point were still a novelty. At the front we see two samurai in wide hats escorting the group. Then comes an assortment of foreigners holding black umbrellas. Most are western, but three are Chinese. They carry black umbrellas, and the sole woman carries a dainty parasol. At the rear is a guard of sorts, carrying a truncheon and a folded western umbrella. Every single Japanese person pictured is stopped and staring, most with just curiosity. One samurai in the middle sheet looks a little bit less than pleased. The artists documenting the foreigners at this time were very careful to document the clothing and accouterments of the foreigners. The documentary feeling of this work is very unusual.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Red block on left sheet has some registration shadows. Minor trimming.
Dimensions: ôban triptych 37.2 x 25.4 cm
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Literature: See Smithsonian Magazine artcile and National Museum of Asian Art online, Smithsonian.
Signature: Hiroshige ga