Andō Hiroshige
Asakusa Ricefields and the Torinomachi Festival
1857, 11th month

Publisher’s seal: Shitaya Uo’ei (Uoya Eikichi); censor’s seal: aratame; probably later impression from original blocks; ōban, 36.9 x 25.0 cm; nishiki-e with fukibokashi and shōmenzuri

Print 101 from “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo”. On the windowsill of an angular room on the first floor of a brothel in Yoshiwara, a white cat is looking out over the nearby houses, the expansive rice fields, and the distant hills, towards Fuji, which is radiantly white against the pink horizon. In this scene from the traditional “Day of the Rooster”, the November Procession of the Ōtori Shrine (“big bird/rooster”) can be seen on the right coming over the fields from Asakusa.

N. Chaikin, Tolochenaz (June 1967)
Riese Collection #172

On the Day of the Bird during the 11th month of the lunar calendar, parishioners of the Ōtori, or Great Bird Shrine gathered at the precincts of the temple in processions like the one stretching across the fields of Asakusa in the picture. The procession is viewed from the second floor window of a house of prostitution in the Yoshiwara, the hair ornaments, the porcelain bowl, the towel and the cat in the window lending an air of warmth and intimacy to the design and season.

This is a fine impression of the print. The earliest impressions, however, have a three-colour cartouche (red, white, and blue), shading from dark to light grey on the screen and on the panel beneath the window, shading on the rooftops just outside the windows, and, if my memory serves me, embossing on the cat.