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Ancient View of the Eightfold Bridge in Mikawa Province
Ancient View of the Eightfold Bridge in Mikawa Province from the series "Rare Views of Famous Bridges of the Various Provinces"

1834
Edo Period (1600-1868)
10 3/16 x 14 7/8 in. (25.9 x 37.8 cm)

Katsushika Hokusai
Japanese (1760 - 1849)

Full Title:Ancient View of the Eightfold Bridge in Mikawa Province from the series "Rare Views of Famous Bridges of the Various Provinces"
Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Color woodcut
Credit Line: Given in memory of Charles Reed Weeth, M.D. by an Anonymous Donor
Accession Number: 1981.43
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Location: Not currently on view

This famous scene of ancient Japan was long a favorite subject of poetry and painting. The poetic trope, or figurative language, occurs in a poem in the Sankashû by the classical poet-monk Saigyô (1118-1190). In translation, the poem reads
In the spring rains
The low-lying plains
Are filled with water;
Where is the eightfold bridge
Over the moors of Mikawa?


Yatasuhashi, the Japanese word for "eightfold bridge," is most familiar today as the brand name of plank-shaped cinnamon-flavored cookies that are still a popular memento of Kyoto.

Bibliography
See general reference in "Hokusai and his School." Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1982: pp. 50-51, no. 75, there titled "The eight-section bridge in Mikawa Province."

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