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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

About This Print

This color lithograph of Uji Bridge, leading to Naikū shrine, the inner sanctum of Isejingū, is the fourth 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. 

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 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."

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 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 Uji Bridge
 宇治橋之景 [as shown in white title cartouche upper right hand corner]

 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-?)
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 24, 1897 仝二月廿五日発行
Furushima Takejirō 

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 3/4 (14.6 x 22.2 cm)
 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
last revision:
7/18/2020 created