Andō Hiroshige
Boundary Marker at Fujikawa
1832 - 1834

Signed: Hiroshige ga; Publisher’s seal: Takemago (Takeuchi Magohachi); censor’s seal: kiwame; ōban, yoko-e, 25.4 x 38.1 cm; aizuri nishiki-e with fukibokashi

Print 38 (station no. 37) from “53 Stations of the Tōkaidō”. Depicted here is the legation sent by the shōgun to the imperial court in Kyōto in the summer of 1832, in which Hiroshige took part. It provided him with an opportunity to make his own sketches on site, while his winter pictures were “inspired” more by the “travel guide” mentioned above. Two horses decorated with holy streamers can be seen between the porters; they were being led to the emperor as a gift from the shōgun.

B. K. (seal on recto); R. G. Sawers, London (January 1973)
Riese Collection #151

Post stations had clearly defined boundaries which were marked on the incoming and outgoing roads by tall inscribed pillars. A daimyo’s precession is about to enter the station of Fujikawa, and two gentlemen who seem to be innkeepers show their welcome.
This impression with its bright, balanced colours, and carefully applied shading and overprinting is an excellent example of the effects Hiroshige aimed at, and with the aid of his printers, successfully achieved, in the Hoeidō Tōkaidō. A manuscript inscription in the lower right margin reads, “38, Fujikawa”.