Nihonbashi Bridge in Edo, 1830-1833

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Nihonbashi Bridge was not only the heart of the city of Edo, but also the terminus of the country's five major highways. It was always crowded with the travelers leaving the city or just arriving. The surrounding area was also a commercial center with all major retailers maintaining shops and warehouses near the bridge.

Looking to the west from a low vantage point, Hokusai depicted the blue waterway lined with white-walled warehouses. Edo castle, the shogun's stronghold, can be seen in the background, as well as Mount Fuji in the deep distance. Pictured in exaggerated perspective, the bridge itself is barely visible along the lower edge of the print. It is recognizable only by the distinctive finial attached to the top of one of the bridge posts. By showing only the heads of the people, and some of the packages they carry, Hokusai conveys something of the chaotic atmosphere of the area as throngs of people attempt to cross the bridge.

Nihonbashi Bridge in Edo
Artist Life
1760 - 1849
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 16 (1981), p. 229, horizontal ōban #18.01
Curator Approved

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