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Posts tagged hiroshige

Hiroshige’s “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Tanabata Star Festival in a Bustling Town”

hiroshige One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: Tanabata Star Festival in a Bustling Town

utagawa hiroshige famous japanese artist

Today’s photo was taken in the Tokyo National Museum. Hiroshige is one of my favorite artists. To see his originals is a thrill for me. Tanabata is celebrated in Japan today.

Kanazawa’s (金沢) Kenrokuen’s (兼六園) Karasaki (唐崎) Pine Tree (松)

kanazawa japan korokuen karasaki matsu pine tree

Japan has some amazing pine trees, and this is one of the better ones. The seed for this Karasaki Matsu (Pine Tree) is said to have come from the famous pine tree depicted in the ukiyo-e pictured below (Night Rain at Karasaki) by Hiroshige. The statue to the left is Yamato Takeru and is the oldest bronze statue in Japan, dating back to 1880.

hiroshige ukiyo-e

Sudden Shower Over Ohashi Bridge

one hundred views of edo

I never tire of looking at Hiroshige and Hokusai ukiyoe. The internet and books just don’t do justice to seeing them on display in a museum. Today’s photo is from the Tokyo National Museum. This is from Hiroshige’s “100 Famous Views of Edo” series. The English translation is a bit strange as they call it the Ohashi Bridge. Hashi already means bridge so it is like saying the name of the bridge is the big bridge bridge.

I crossed the Sumdia River many times. The ukiyoe that I tend to like the most are the ones I have been to.

Here is the Van Gogh the above mentions:

van gogh bridge rain hiroshige

I must say I like the original much better. Van Gogh’s kanji aren’t so hot either.

Horikiri Shobuen (堀切菖蒲園)

Horikiri Shobuen 堀切菖蒲園

As mentioned last time, June is iris (hanashobu) blooming month at Horikiri Shobuen. We arrived early on a Sunday morning but not nearly early enough to avoid the crowd.

iris 花菖蒲 hanashobu

The number of people with gigantic, expensive cameras taking pictures was ridiculous. I don’t understand why these cameras are so popular given the price, size, and weight. I’m pretty sure the pictures don’t come out 10 or 20 times better even though the cameras cost that much more than mine.

I can understand wanting a dSLR at a sporting event, but in most settings, they make no sense. One guy I was standing next to was firing off about 30 shots in a row each time he pointed his camera at a flower. He wasn’t changing the settings or his vantage point between photos. Why would someone want 30 digital pics of the exact same scene? There was no wind so it wasn’t like the flower was moving or somehow changing.

The same goes for tripods. There were loads and loads of tripods people were using to take pictures of flowers. Why? Tripods have their purpose. They can be useful for group photos when you don’t have an extra person with you who isn’t part of the group or for night photography, but you don’t need one to take a picture of a flower in the bright sunshine people!

Sorry for the mini rant.

hanashobu horikiri shobuen

Hiroshige’s take on the same scene a couple hundred years before in one of his “100 Famous Views of Edo” required no DSLR or tripod as far as I know.

Kanda River (神田川) – Then and Now

Kanda River 神田川 ukiyo-e

Things have changed since Hiroshige created the above scene (“Basho’s Hermitage and Camellia Hill on the Kanda Aqueduct at Sekiguchi, No. 40” (せき口上水端はせを庵椿やま) in “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” (名所江戸百景)). I haven’t taken any photos of the Kanda River yet, as it is anything but beautiful these days. However, I will in spring when the cherry blossoms are out.

Basho’s hermitage (Bashodo or 芭蕉堂) is still here, but it isn’t easy to find (especially if you can’t read Japanese), and you have to go through a closed gate to enter the grounds.

This area along the river is still a great spot for a walk though. I take one or two here a week, and Linda takes one almost every day past Chinzanso. Our apartment would be in the distance on the left side of this ukiyo-e where the trees are, although at that time our apartment’s exact location was part of takadanobaba which Hiroshige also included in his “100 Famous Views of Edo.”

A few weeks back I witnessed a man throw a hefty bag of garbage into this water way. What a shame. From the looks of the current state of the water, he isn’t alone.

kanda river walking path tokyo japan

The above is the current path along the river, complete with elevated expressway on the other side and guard rail (the river is some 30 feet below).

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