Returning Sails at Takanawa
Returning Sails at Takanawa from the series "Eight Views of the Shiba District in the Capital City"
Edo Period (1600-1868)
9 13/16 x 14 5/16 in. (24.9 x 36.3 cm)
(1797 - 1858)
Full Title:Returning Sails at Takanawa from the series "Eight Views of the Shiba District in the Capital City"
Medium and Support:
Gift of Dr. James B. Austin
Location: Not currently on view
Eight Views of the Shiba District
"Returning Sails at Takanawa" adapts the classical trope of "Returning Sails at a Distant Bay" (enpo kihan) to the well-known view of Edo bay along a stretch of the Tôkaidô Road at Takanawa in the Shiba district of Edo. Smaller boats with white sails ferry goods to shore from the large dark ocean-going vessels anchored in the bay. In the unceasing traffic along the Tôkaidô Road, the major highway leading in and out of the city to the south, we see a mounted samurai and his servant in the lower-left corner passing through the granite sides of the gated portal to the city. Coming towards them is a group of pilgrims dressed in white, followed by two more samurai borne in palanquins, and another two palanquins are parked at the side of the teahouse. Large hand-carts for carrying building materials are seen in the lower right-hand corner, while at the right workers appear to be building a larger restaurant or teahouse. Two sign-boards next to a mile-post at the seating area carry official regulations pertaining to travelers entering Edo—these signs were a common sight at every bridge and approach to the city, along with the heads of executed criminals.