Waterwheel at Onden, 1830-1833

Not on Viewexpand_more

During the Edo period, Onden was a quiet farm village near the Shibuya River, shown here beyond the mill. Today, the area is known as Harajuku, a hotspot for fashion-forward young people. The Shibuya River (also known as the Onden River) was covered over during road construction before the Olympic Games held in Tokyo in 1964. However, it once was a valuable natural resource. As early as 1769, farmers built waterwheels on the river’s tributaries and used them to run grain mills and threshing machines.

In this image, two women—one with a wooden bucket, the other with a woven basket—appear to be doing laundry in the millrace. Near them, a boy stares curiously at the waterwheel while his pet turtle tugs at its leash. The two men approaching with heavy sacks are possibly bringing rice to be milled.

Waterwheel at Onden
Artist Life
1760 - 1849
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 16 (1981), p. 229, horizontal ōban #18.09
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.