Utagawa Hiroshige II - Image Index to Print Series


Introduction

This page is intended to be a resource for people who are not familiar with Japanese woodblock prints, and have a Hiroshige II print they want to identify - but do not know which series it is from. It's not terribly practical to click on every single series, looking for the one which has the print one is trying to identify.

So this page shows one print from each series, and gives a woodblock print novice some tips about what to look at, in order to (in almost all cases) quickly locate the series that their print is from (even though, of course, their individual print is unlikely to be shown here). From there, one can go to the page for that particular series, to identify the particular print one has in hand.


Distinguishing Characteristics

One of the easiest ways for novices to identity which series a print belongs to is to look at the 'title cartouche' - the panel(s), usually in a top corner, which contain the title of the series, and often the name of the individal print (and often a fair amount of additional description of the scene shown). There are often two, one of which (usually a vertical rectangle) will contain the series title, and the other (often a square) which will contain information about the particular print.

In addition to the shape of the cartouche(s), other identifying characteristics for them include the coloration, etc of the cartouches. If you have a number of possibilities, based on cartouche shape and colour, look at the characters (kan-ji) in the title - even if you cannot read them, you can see if the kanji in one of the potentially matching series are the same as the ones on your print.

Other things which can identify the series include the borders, or other overall design features.


Sample Images

The tables below are arranged (semi-arbitrarily) by date. If you think there is some other arrangement that might make it easier to find which series a print belogs to, please let us know.

If you need to look at a larger image of any print (e.g. to compare the kanji in the title cartouche), just click on the thumbnail image. Once you have located the series you think your print might be from, simply click on the link in the 'Images' column to take you directly to the page for that series.


Notation

In the table below, the notation (and hyper-link) "Complete" means that what is generally thought to be the complete series is available here, on the linked page. The notations "Partial" and "Examples" mean that some prints (just a few, for the latter notation) from such series are available here.

The notation "All Known"" means that it is not known whether the series contains more prints than are shown here, but all known prints in the series are available here. The nontations "Many" and "Some" mean some prints (just a few, for the latter notation) from such series are available here; i.e. that the series is thought to contain more prints than are shown here.

"Other" means that another web site contains the series - see the link. "Coming" means that a page for this series is in the works, but has not yet been added to the site. "No" means that the site does not currently have any prints from this series.


Sample image Images Title (English) Title (Rōmaji) Title (Kanji)
Some Eight Views of Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho hakkei 江戸 名所 八景
Complete Fifty-three Stages of the Tōkaidō Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi 東海道 五十三 次
Many The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers Chūshingura 忠臣蔵 
Some Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho 江戸 名所
Partial Eight Views of Ōmi Ōmi hakkei 近江 八 景
Some Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho 江戸 名所
All Known One Hundred Views of Famous Places in the Provinces Shokoku meisho hyakkei 諸国 名所 百景
Some Famous Places in the Eastern Capital Tōto meisho 東都 名所
Complete Forty-Eight Views of Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho yonjūhakkei 江戸 名所 四十八 景
Complete Thirty-six Views of the Eastern Capital Tōto sanjūrokkei 東都 三十六 景
Many Views of Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho zue 江戸 名勝 圖會
Some Souvenirs of Edo Edo miyage 江戸 美家計
Complete Eight Views of the Sumida River Sumida-gawa hakkei 隅田川 八 景
Complete Sixty-eight Views of the Various Provinces Shokoku rokujū-hakkei 諸国 六十八 景
Many Famous Places in the Eastern Capital Tōto meisho 東都 名所
Some Famous Places in Edo Edo meisho 江戸 名所
Examples The Tōkaidō Tōkaidō 東海道
Some Collection of Famous Places in the Eastern Capital in the Four Seasons Tōto shiki meisho zukushi 東都 四季 名所 盡
Partial Six Jewel Rivers in the Provinces Shokoku mu tamagawa 諸國 六 玉河
Some Famous Places in the Eastern Capital Tōto meisho 東都 名所
Complete Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Tōkaidō gojūsan eki 東海道 五拾三 驛
Complete Thirty-Six Flowers Sanjūrokkasen 三十六 花撰
Some Thirty-six Views of Fuji Fuji sanjūrokkei 富士 三十六 景


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© Copyright 2009-2010 by J. Noel Chiappa

Last updated: 2/December/2010