This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) Asuka Hill
Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Kunisada (Toyokuni III)
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), 1786-1865
One Hundred Beauties from Famous Places in Edo: Asuka Hill
(Edo meisho hyakunin bijo: Asukayama)

signed Toyokuni ga within the artist's toshidama cartouche, signed Kunihisa ga (Utagawa Kunihisa II, 1832-1891) within the inset landscape cartouche; with publisher's seal Ya, Fujikei (Fujiokaya Keijiro of Shorindo), censor's seal aratame (examined) and censor's date seal Mi-juichi (year of the snake [1857], 11th month)
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 1/8 in., 37.4 by 25.6 cm
Asuka hill was renowned as a beautiful locale from which to view cherry blossoms, and as such was generally depicted with many of the blooming white trees. The inset landscape of this composition similarly depicts a number of blossoming trees, with a stream of visitors there to enjoy the scene. It was opened in 1737 as Japan's first public park by the Shogun Yoshimune (1684-1751). Smith suggested the park's opening was a ploy to exhaust the political energies of the commoners by encouraging them to embark on the five mile walk to Asuka hill from the city center.
References:
Henry D. Smith II et. al., Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1986, cat. no. 17 (re: Asuka Hill)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (mfa.org), from the Bigelow Collection, accession no. 11.15267
price: $ 800