Robe-Hanging Pine, Senzoku Pond

Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重), 1797-1858

Format, Size: Ōban nishiki-e, 249 x 367 mm
Series: 100 Famous Views of Edo (名所江戸百景)
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Signature: Hiroshige ga (廣重画)
Reference: Smith 1986, #110

“In this print, Hiroshige depicts two lesser-known pilgrimage sites, the Hachiman shrine at Senzoku Pond and the ‘Robe-Hanging Pine.’ The Hachiman shrine can be seen on the left, in a small copse on the opposite bank of the lake. The focus of the composition, however, is the lake itself; into it, on the right, projects a spit of land on which grows a lone pine tree. According to legend, its name, ‘Robe-Hanging Pine’, goes back to the famous monk Nichiren (1222-1282), who stopped off here for a rest and hung his monk’s robe on its branches. In the foreground, we can see travelers on foot, on horseback, and in a palanquin. They have taken refreshment at a food stand decorated with red paper lanterns. Pilgrims are looking at the imposing fenced-in pine on the spit of land and are preparing to visit the stone stele bearing a memorial inscription.” (Trede & Bichler, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Taschen).

This particular impression is quite early, differing from the Brooklyn and Ōta instances only by two small areas of over-printing in the top of the furthest mountain and on the far left of the road. The grain of the cherrywood printing block is clearly visible in the center.