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Returning Sails at Takanawa
Returning Sails at Takanawa from the series "Eight Views of the Shiba District in the Capital City"

ca. 1839-1840
Edo Period (1600-1868)
9 13/16 x 14 5/16 in. (24.9 x 36.3 cm)

Ando Hiroshige
Japan (Edo, 1797 - 1858, Edo)

Full Title:Returning Sails at Takanawa from the series "Eight Views of the Shiba District in the Capital City"
Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Color woodcut
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. James B. Austin
Accession Number: 1987.34.1
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view
Portfolio: 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.

See general mention in Shozaburo Watanabe, "Catalogue of the Memorial Exhibition of Hiroshige's Works on the 60th Anniversary of his Death," 1918, p. 27; cat. no. 115 describes the set, Eight Views of Shiba, Yedo. [See, no. 115.] This print is entitled "Takanawa Kihan" or "Boats Sailing Back at [to?] Takanawa."

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Catalogue of the Memorial Exhibition of Hiroshige's Work Online version of Shozaburo Watanabe's book: Catalogue of the Memorial Exhibition of Hiroshige's Work on the 60th Anniversary of his Death, Tokyo: Ukiyoye Association, 1918. This work is listed under catalogue no. 115, Takanawa Kihan, Boats Sailing Back at Takanawa.

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