Hiroshige II's series 'Eight Views of the Sumida River (Sumida-gawa hakkei)' (1861)


This page attempts to catalog all known prints in Hiroshige II's series 'Sumida-gawa hakkei (隅田川 八 景 - Eight Views of the Sumida River)'.

The series title is in the rectangular cartouche in the top right corner; the title of each individual print is in the fan-shaped cartouche to its left.

The series dates from the middle of Hiroshige II's career, when he was about thirty-five years old. At this point, he was using the name 'Hiroshige', since his master Hiroshige I had died (in 1858), and Hiroshige II had taken over the 'Hiroshige'; the prints in this series are signed 'Hiroshige'.

Formalized series of landscape views on eight particular themes of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers, the rivers and wetlands around Lake Donting, developed in Eleventh Century China. The idea was imported to Japan along with much else from Chinese culture; series on this theme appear throughout Japanese woodblocks. The eight themes were descending geese, returning sails, clearing mist, twilight snow, autumn moon, night rain, vesper bells, and evening glow; all eminently suited to evocative landscape images.

Technical details

The Prints

To see a larger, roughly full-screen, image of any print, please click on the thumbnail; these images are sized to produce fine detail, and are only moderately compressed.

Images Number Date Title (Kanji) Title (Romaji) Title (English) Description
#1 1861/11 白髯 落雁 Shirahige (no) rakugan Descending Geese at Shirahige
#2 1861/11 吾妻橋 帰帆 Azuma-bashi (no) kihan Returning Sails at Azuma Bridge
#3 1861/11 関屋 の 里 晴嵐 Sekiya no sato (no) seiran Clearing Weather at Sekiya Village
#4 1861/11 橋場 暮雪 Hashiba (no) bosetsu Twilight Snow at Hashiba
#5 1861/11 真乳山 秋月 Matsuchi-yama (no) shūgetsu Autumn Moon at Matsuchi Hill
#6 1861/11 枕はし夜 雨 Makura-bashi (no) yau / Yanagi-bashi (no) yau Night Rain at Makura Bridge / Night Rain at Yanagi Bridge Sources differ on the title
#7 1861/11 長命寺 晩渉 Chōmei-ji (no) banshō Evening Bell at Chōmei Temple The shō in banshō is normally written with the character ; although since the caption is written in gyōsho, the identification of exactly which character has been used is not entirely certain.
#8 1861/11 三囲堤 夕照 Mimeguri-zutsumi (no) sekishō Sunset Glow at Mimeguri Embankment

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© Copyright 2009 by J. Noel Chiappa

Last updated: 25/June/2009