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Distant View of Yamada Town from Miyagawa Bridge, print 8 from the set Famous Places in Ise

 

 Japanese Color Lithograph Print

Distant View of Yamada Town from Miyagawa Bridge, print 8

from the set Famous Places in Ise

by Hirose Harutaka, February 1897

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2347

About This Print

This color lithograph of the bustling Miyagawa Bridge connecting Yamada with Ise Shrine, is the eighth print in the twelve print series Famous Places in Ise, an old province in Japan that corresponds to most of modern Mie Prefecture, which includes Ise City and Ise Shrine. Yamada was a bustling gateway to the shrines, filled with inns, teahouses and souvenir shops. 

Ise Jingū
Source: transcribed from a English language map provided by the Jingu Administration Office
"Jingu, generally known as Ise Jingu, consists of 125 jinga (Shinto shrines), centered around Kotai-jingu (Naiku) [Inner Shrine] and Toyo'uke-daijingu (Geku) [Outer Shrine]. There are many affiliated jinja and some auxiliary jinja in and around Ise city. In land area, Jingu is roughly the same size as the city of Paris. More than 1500 rituals are conducted here yearly to pray for the prosperity of the Imperial family and happiness of the world."

Source: Cartwright, Mark. "Ise Grand Shrine." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 06, 2017. https://www.ancient.eu/Ise_Grand_Shrine/ 
"The Ise Grand Shrine or Ise Jingu, located in the heart of a sacred forest in the Mie Prefecture of Japan, is the most important Shinto shrine in the country and is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu with a separate shrine dedicated to Toyouke, the food goddess. First built in 4 BCE, the present-day structures are based on the buildings erected in the 7th century CE. Uniquely, 16 of the 125 buildings at the sprawling complex, as well as the Uji bridge and torii gateway, are rebuilt exactly every 20 years, the last occasion being 2013. Ise Jingu is the ancestral shrine of the emperors of Japan."

Yamada Town
Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ise,_Mie and A Social History of the Ise Shrines Divine Capital, Mark Teeuwen, et. al., London Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2017, p. 177.
By the date this print was published in 1897 Yamada and been combined with the village of Uji to form Ujiyamada, which existed until it was renamed Ise City in 1955. While always a bustling entry point, with its inns and souvenir shops, to the Ise Shrines, the completion of the privately owned Sangū Railway and the opening up of Yamada Station (present-day Iseshi Station) on November 11, 1897 "brought pilgrims into Yamada from across Japan with a speed and comfort heretofore unimaginable." 


Yamada Station (now Iseshi Station), 1897

About The Set "Famous Places in Ise - Souvenir Pictures of Famous Places in Ise"
The publisher, Furushima Takejirō, published twelve prints in February 1897 with the main title "Famous Place of Ise" and the subtitle "Souvenir Pictures of Famous Places in Ise." The entire set of twelve prints was enclosed in a decorative envelope (see below) picturing Ise Jingū's cedar trees and Naikū Shrine, bathed in the glow of the rising sun. This set of prints carries a release date of February 10, 1897.  Fifteen days later, on February 25, 1897, prints one through eight only were enclosed in a different decorative envelope (see below) picturing Meoto Iwa (Married-Couple Rocks) at Futamigaura at sunrise along with pilgrims entering the Ise Shrine and released for sale. Both sets were sold to pilgrims in Tsu City and Yamada Town, stop-overs for pilgrims on their way to Ise Jingū.

These prints showed off the latest in color lithography techniques, with many of the prints achieving effects such as bokashi, a gradual gradation of colored ink typically used in woodblock printing. 

Map of Sangū Rail Line
click on image to enlarge
It has been suggested that this set of prints was issued to promote the upcoming completion of the Sangū tetsudō 参宮鉄道 rail line (Shrine-bound railway) which began operation in 1893, but would only reach Ise Shrine proper (Yamada Station) in November 1897. (Prior to its November completion the rail line ended in Miyagawa, about 8 km from Ise Jingū.) To support this theory, it is pointed out that two of the prints (prints numbered 11 and 12) depict scenes in Tsu City, the starting point for the Sangū, and one print (number 8) depicts Yamada, whose rail station, Yamada Station, the final stop on the Sangū, was to open in November.1

On the back of the envelope containing the twelve print set (see image below), are the names of the sales office, Furujima Branch Office in Yamada-Onoechō, Ise Province (a branch of the publisher Takejirō Furujima, who was famous in Osaka at the time), and the distributors Sankyō Limited Liability Company in Yamada-Okamotochō, Ise Province; Hashizume Gohei in Yamada-Uraguchichō, Ise Province; and Ōtake Takesaburō in Tsu-Nishichō, Ise Province.

Envelope containing the twelve print set

1 Summarized and translated from the website of Mie Prefectural Museum https://www.bunka.pref.mie.lg.jp/MieMu/82889046576.htm

The Set
 
Souvenir from Ise Shrine
伊勢みやげ
Envelope for the 8 print set
(consisting of the prints numbered 1 through 8)
 
Souvenir from Ise Shrine
伊勢みやげ
Envelope for the 12 print set



 Print Number Title Inset Title
 1 (壱) The Sanctuary Aramatsuri-no-miya of Naiku Ise Shrine
 天照皇太神宮 内宮
 not applicable
 2 (二) Toyouke Daijingū Shrine
 豊受太神宮 外宮
 not applicable
 3 (三) Illustration of Daidai-kagura
 大々神楽之図 
 Illustration of Kagura Hall
 御神楽殿之図
 4 (四) View of Uji Bridge
 宇治橋之景
 Naiku or Main Sanctuary of Ise
 内宮神苑正面
 5 (五) View of Magatama Pond
 
曲玉池之景
 View of the Main Shrine Garden of   Gekū
 外宮神苑正面景
 6 (六) View of Futamigaura
 二見浦之景
 View of Hinjitsukan
 賓日館及海水景
 7 (七) Illustration of Furuichi Dance
 古市踊之図
 not applicable
 8 (八) Distant View of Yamada Town from Miyagawa Bridge
 宮川橋より山田町を望む
 not applicable
 9 (九) View of Toyomiyazaki Library
 豊宮崎文庫之景
 Agricultural Building
 農業舘
 10 (十) View of Tsukiyomi no miya
 月夜見宮之景
 View of Asama dake in Snow
 朝熊岳雪景
 11 (十一) View of Tsu Park [renamed Kairaku Park]
 津公園之景
 Kōzan Shrine
 高山神社
 12 (十) View of Akogi Heiji Monument
 阿漕平治塚之景 
 View of Karasu Imperial Shinto Shrine
 御香良州神社景


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2347
 Title (Description) Distant View of Yamada Town from Miyagawa Bridge, [print] 8
 宮川橋より山田町を望む [as shown in red title cartouche upper left-hand corner]
 Miyagawa bashi yori yamadamachi o nozomu
  [as printed in right margin]
 Series Famous Places in Ise - Souvenir Pictures of Famous Places in Ise
 伊勢名所 [as shown across top of print]
 伊勢土産名所図画 [as printed in upper right margin]
 Artist Hirose Harutaka (1870-?)
 Signature
應需 春孝  ōju Harutaka 
 Seal no seal
 Publication Date
printed: February 1, 1897 明治三十年二月一日印刷  
issued: February 10, 1897 仝二月十日発行
 Publisher
Furushima Takejirō 古島竹次郎 [古島竹治郎]

印刷兼發行者 [printer and publisher]
大阪...[Osaka - address of publisher]
古島竹郎 [Furushima Takejirō]

Source: website of Stategic Management Laboratory Inc. https://sml.co.jp/documents/toppan-ichida.html?page=5
Furushima created both lithographs and woodblock prints and was a member of the Copperplate and Lithography Association of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce which had 27 companies listed as members in 1894.

 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre meisho-e
 Miscellaneous color lithograph 色石版画; all rights reserved 版權所有 printed in upper right margin
 Format chuban
 H x W Paper 
 7 3/8 x 10 1/16 in. (18.7 x 25.6 cm)
 H x W Image 5 3/4 x 8 5/8 (14.6 x 21.9 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This PrintARC Ukiyo-e Portal Database (National Museum of Japanese History) H-22-1-30-10-7; National Museum of Japanese History https://khirin-a.rekihaku.ac.jp/nmjh_nishikie/h-22-1-30-10-7; Mie Prefectural Library [entire 12 print set] https://www.bunka.pref.mie.lg.jp/viewer/history/00011/book_swf.htm 
last revision:
8/16/2020 created
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