Chiyoda Outer Palace: Viewing the Sanno Festival
(Chiyoda no on-omote: Sanno sairei joran)
signed Yoshu Chikanobu with artist's seal Yoshu, publisher's cartouche of Fukuda Hatsujiro with date Meiji sanjunen sangatsu tsuitachi insatsu, toka hakko (Meiji 30  March 1st printed, March 10th published), and printer's seal Sekino zuri (printed by Sekino), 1897
oban tate-e triptych 14 by 28 in., 35.6 by 71.1 cm
With paper label attached at bottom edge of center sheet inscribed with the description: "Sogun [sic] seeing the show in celebration of Sano [sic]."
The scene is at the Sanno Matsuri, a biennial mid-June festival which is marked by an elaborate procession from the Sanno Shrine in Tokyo near Akasaka to Edo Castle. The parade through several neighborhoods passed through the Hanzo Gate by special permission of the shogun, who would have observed from a viewing platform erected for the event. Adding to the spectacle are figures wearing the distinctive black hats associated with Korean tribute delegations accompanying a large white elephant. The elephant was a huge float made of wood and fabric, propelled by men walking inside the legs, although it is recorded that in 1887 a real elephant was added to the procession as a gift from the Chinese Emperor.
Bruce A. Coats, Chikanobu_ Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints, Scripps College, 2006, p. 179, pl. 205
MFA, Boston, accession no. RES.51.90-2
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. JP3581
(inv. no. 10-5584)
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site last updated
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