Kameido Tenjin Taikobashi (The Drum Bridge at Kameido Tenjin Shrine)

Maker(s): Katsushika Hokusai
Culture: Japanese (1760-1849)
Title: Kameido Tenjin Taikobashi [The Drum Bridge at Kameido Tenjin Shrine], from the series Shokoku Meikyo Kiran [Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces]
Date Made: 1827-1830
Type: Print
Materials: Woodblock print (woodcut); Nishiki-e, Ink and colors on paper
Place Made: Asia; Japan
Measurements: Mount: 9 5/8 in x 14 5/8 in; 24.4 cm x 37.1 cm; Sheet/Image: 9 1/2 in x 14 7/16 in; 24.1 cm x 36.7 cm
Narrative Inscription: SIGNATURE: recto, upp. l. (black ink, within image): [Japanese character, Saki no Hokusai litsu hitsu]; TITLE: recto, upp. l. (black ink, within cartoche): [Japanese character, Shokoku / meikyo kiran / Kameido Tenjin / Taikobashi].
Accession Number: MH 1973.292.Q.RII
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Louis C. Black

The Kameido Tenjin Shrine depicted in this print is located on the eastern fringe of Tokyo and was built in the 1660s as a dedication to Sugaware Michizone who was the Saint of Great Learning and Calligraphy. It was known for both its unique bridges and beautiful, full wisteria bushes that flowered during the springtime. In this depiction, the wisteria is shown of the right hand side, just behind the bridge. At the shrine there are two main bridges one of which is designated as male and the other designated as female. The bridge depicted is thought to have been the bridge designated as male due to its large size. Hokusai in this print is focused on the architecture of the bridge over the natural elements in the composition, placing the bridge just off the exact center. The bright yellow and light brown of the bridge stand out against the blue water and green foliage of the background.

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