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View of Uji Bridge, print 4 from the set Famous Places in Ise

 

 Japanese Color Lithograph Print

View of Uji Bridge, print 4

from the set Famous Places in Ise

by Hirose Harutaka, February 1897

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2257

IHL Cat. #2343 (from the complete set of 12)

About This Print

Two copies (issued two weeks apart) of the fourth print in a set of twelve color lithographs his color lithographs of famous views/places in Ise, an old province in Japan that corresponds to most of modern Mie Prefecture, which includes Ise City and Ise Shrine. This print pictures Uji Bridge, leading to Naikū shrine, the inner sanctum of Ise Jingū. Crossing over the bridge takes you from the secular to the sacred world.

The impressions for these two prints show significant differences in coloration, with IHL Cat. #2343 using softer, a little less saturated colors. While the dates of printing for these two prints, as printed in their left margins (see details below) are the same, February 1, 1897, their release dates are two weeks apart February 10, 1897 for IHL Cat. #2343 and Feburary 25, 1897 for IHL Cat. #2257.

Inset
The inset within the scroll in the upper left of the print depicts the entrance to Naikū, the main sanctuary of Ise Grand Shrine (Isejingū), in evening. A lone figure is seen and a signpost on the right has the characters 下馬 (geba), a prohibition against entering on horseback.

Ise Jingū
Source: transcribed from a English language map provided by the Jingu Administration Office
"Jingu, generally known as Ise Jingu, consists of 125 jinja (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."

Uji Bridge




Source: website of Jingushicho (Jingu Administration Office)


Uji bridge, constructed of cypress, spans the Isuzugawa River at the entrance of Naikū and is said to separate a sacred realm from the daily world. The architectural style of the Ujibashi Bridge is purely Japanese and its length is over 100 meters. This Bridge is rebuilt every twenty years as a part of Shikinen Sengu (a periodic transfer of the divine symbol to a divine palace which is newly constructed every twenty years).

Naikū (Inner Shrine) of Ise Shrine (entrance)




Source: Japan-guide.com

Kotaijingū (Naikū 内宮) is one of the two main shrines making up the Ise Shrine. It is the most venerable shrine in Japan and is dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, the ancestral kami (Shinto deity) of the Imperial family. Amaterasu was enshrined in Naiku about 2,000 years ago and has been revered as a guardian of Japan.
Both, the Inner and Outer Shrine, are rebuilt from scratch every 20 years according to an ancient Shinto tradition. The 62nd rebuilding was completed in 2013. The 63rd rebuilding will take place in 2033.

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  #2257 and #2343
 Title (Description)  View of Uji Bridge, [print] 4
 宇治橋之景 [as printed in white title cartouche upper right hand corner]
 四 [as printed in right margin]

 inset: View of the Main Shrine Garden of Naikū
 内宮神苑正面ノ景 [as printed in yellow cartouche on the left of scroll enclosing the inset]
 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
IHL Cat. #2257 left:
printed: February 1, 1897 明治三十年二月一日印刷  
issued: February 25, 1897 仝二月廿五日発行

IHL Cat. #2343 right:
printed: February 1, 1897 明治三十年二月一日印刷  
issued: February 10, 1897 仝二月廿五日発行
 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 3/4 (14.6 x 22.2 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This PrintARC Ukiyo-e Portal Database (National Museum of Japanese History) H-22-1-30-10-6; National Museum of Japanese History https://khirin-a.rekihaku.ac.jp/nmjh_nishikie/h-22-1-30-10-6; Mie Prefectural Library [entire 12 print set] https://www.bunka.pref.mie.lg.jp/viewer/history/00011/book_swf.htm 
last revision:
7/18/2020 created

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