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View of Magatama Pond, print 5 from the set Famous Places in Ise


 Japanese Color Lithograph Print

View of Magatama Pond, print 5

from the set Famous Places in Ise

by Hirose Harutaka, February 1897

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2258

About This Print

This color lithograph of Magatama Pond 曲玉池 on the grounds of Gekū, the outer sanctum of Ise jingū, is the fifth in a set of twelve prints of famous views/places in Ise, an old province in Japan that corresponds to most of modern Mie Prefecture including Ise City.  The print shows both Japanese visitors in Western and traditional dress and a single figure dressed in the traditional garb of a pilgrim around the pond with cherry trees blooming.

The round inset in the upper right of the print is a night time scene of a small bridge and pathway leading through an Ise (jingūtorii on the grounds of Gekū.

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) and Toyo'uke-daijingu (Geku). 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."

Magatama Pond
Source: Transcribed from map Ise City Tourism Association
Magatama Pond lies within the magnificent Gekū grounds and was named after ancient Japanese curved jewel beads, magatama, because of its unusual shape. Irises offer a spectacular sight during early summer.

Hanashōbu (Japanese iris) garden
on Magatama Pond
image source: Wikipedia 

Geku (Ise Grand Outer Shrine)
Source: website of Ise Jinju 
"Toyo’ukedaijingu (Geku) is dedicated to Toyo'uke-no-Omikami. Some 1,500 years ago, this kami was, in accordance with a revelation from Amaterasu-Omikami, summoned and enshrined here. Toyo'uke-no-Omikami joins Amaterasu-Omikami in Jingu as her provider of companionship and sacred foods. She blesses us with abundant harvests and is the guardian of well-being, providing three essentials of human life: cloth, food and shelter."


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 first eight prints were sold as a set, packaged in an envelope with a view of Meoto Iwa (Married-Couple Rocks) at Futamigaura at sunrise along with pilgrims entering the Ise Shrine. Four additional prints were then added to the first eight prints to make a twelve print set that was packaged in an envelope with a view of the famous cedar trees of Ise Shrine and a rising sun with Gekū Shrine in the background. The envelope designs were also created by Harutaka.

It has been suggested that this set of prints, issued in 1897, was to promote the upcoming completion of the Sangū tetsudō 参宮鉄道 rail line ([Ise] Shrine-bound railway) which began operation in 1893 but would only reach Ise proper in November 1897. To support this theory, it is pointed out that two of the prints in the twelve print set depict scenes at the starting and ending points of the rail line as it existed in early 1897.1
1 Summarized and translated from the website of Mie Prefectural Museum https://www.bunka.pref.mie.lg.jp/MieMu/82889046576.htm

Souvenir from Ise Shrine
Envelope for the 8 print set
Souvenir from Ise Shrine
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
 Illustration of Kagura Hall
 4 (四) View of Uji Bridge
 Naiku or Main Sanctuary of Ise
 5 (五) View of Magatama Pond
 View of the Main Shrine Garden of   Gekū
 6 (六) View of Futamigaura
 View of Hinjitsukan
 7 (七) Illustration of Furuichi Dance
 not applicable
 8 (八) Distant View of Yamada Town from Miyagawa Bridge
 not applicable
 9 (九) View of Toyomiyazaki Library*
 Agricultural Hall
 10 (十) View of Tsukiyomi no miya
 View of Asama dake in Snow
 11 (十一) View of Tsu Park [renamed Kairaku Park]
 Kōzan Shrine
 12 (十) View of Akogi Heiji Monument**
 View of Karasu Imperial Shinto Shrine
* In 1648 a group of Shinto priests founded a library at the Outer Shrine of Ise. Their aims were to make important books accessible to the Outer Shrine priesthood and to spread correct knowledge among the general public through open lectures. In the same year, a list of regulations was drawn up that was to govern the running of this library, which was called Toyomiyazaki Bunko. [The Culture of Secrecy in Japanese Religion, Bernhard Scheid, Mark Teeuwen, Routledge, 2006.]
** "This is a monument to the legendary young man, Heiji. It is said that this mount was constructed to placate his spirit, which was executed for poaching fish for his sick mother at Akogiura. During the Edo period, this was widely known a landmark along the Sangu Highway."  [transcribed from a photo of the signboard at the monument] The monument and Karasu Shrine are located in Tsu City.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2257
 Title (Description) View of Magatama Pond
 曲玉池之景 [as shown in white title cartouche upper right hand corner]

 inset: View of the Shrine Garden of Gekū
 外宮神苑正面景 [as printed in the pink cartouche to the left of the round inset in the upper right of the print]
 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-?)
春孝 Harutaka 
 Seal 春孝 Harutaka (as shown above)
 Publication Date
printed: February 1, 1897 明治三十年二月一日印刷  
issued: February 24, 1897 仝二月廿五日発行
Furushima Takejirō 古島竹次郎

印刷兼發行 [printer and publisher]
大阪...[Osaka - address of publisher]
古島竹治郎 [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)
 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
last revision:
7/18/2020 created