The Drum Bridge at Kameido Tenjin Shrine, c. 1834

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Whereas Hokusai’s series on waterfalls may have sprung from a Japanese reverence for natural phenomena, his series on bridges is a cataloguing of different bridge types, from temporary examples to solidly built, permanent structures. Most of the bridges in the series actually existed, but some were legendary and known to Hokusai through literature and folklore. A set of twelve prints likely was intended, although only eleven are known. Two are on view here.

This bridge is one of two dramatic “drum” bridges at Kameido Tenjin Shrine in Edo. Probably inspired by Chinese “moon” bridges, they were dubbed taiko (drum) bridges. The half-circle form made a full circle when reflected in the water, suggesting the shape of a round drum. By showing the bridge from an oblique viewpoint, Hokusai cleverly revealed the topside planking and also the underside and the support pilings.

The Drum Bridge at Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Artist Life
1760 - 1849
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 16 (1981), p. 229, horizontal ōban #19.07
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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