Kawarake-nage at Asukayama Park and Ōji Paper Company Viewed from Asukayama Park from the series Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and Present

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kawarake-nage at Asukayama Park and

Ōji Paper Company Viewed from Asukayama Park

from the series

Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and Present

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1884

Saruwaka-machi sanshibai from the series Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and Present

IHL Cat. #1291


IHL Cat. #1285

About This Print

The top print (IHL Cat. #1285) provides a past, or old (古), view of Asukayama Park, where women are playing kawarake-nage, "throwing unglazed or sun-dried earthenware from a high place with prayers for warding off evil and enjoying watching them flying in the wind."  Asukayama was a favorite place for this activity.  It is matched with a present, or now (今), view on the bottom sheet (IHL Cat. #1285), depicting park visitors, some in Western-style dress, looking out to the site of the Ōji Paper Company founded in 1873 by the industrialist Shibusawa Eiichi (渋沢 栄一, 1840–1931). 

Asukayama, opened as a public park in 1737, was a popular site for cherry-blossom viewing.

These past and present views were orginally printed together as one oban-size sheet as shown below and later cut apart.  They are two of at least 32 views, contained on 16 uncut oban-size sheets, in the series Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and Present.

古今東京名所: 飛鳥山かわらけなげ・飛鳥山公園地王子製紙会社


The Series: Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and Present
A series of at least sixteen uncut oban-size sheets depicting a past or old (古) view on the top sheet, and present or now (今) view, on the bottom sheet, of a particular area of Tokyo. Many of the views are similar to those found in Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei). 

PowerPoint Presentation Notes from 1-31-2017 Presentation

Kawarake-nage at Asukayama Park and Ōji Paper Company Viewed from Asukayama Park from the series Famous Places of Tokyo Past and Present, 1884

This series of prints contrasts a current (1884) view of a "famous place" in the Tokyo area with a past view. In this pair of prints, the past view pictures a game of kawarake-nage in which unglazed pottery is thrown through the air accompanied by prayers to ward off evil spirits while the present view portrays Western and traditionally clothed park-goers gazing out to the Ōji Paper Company, Japan's first manufacturer of Western-style paper, founded in 1873.

The Oji Paper Company still operates today and is one of the world’s largest producers of paper products.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1291, #1285
 Title or Description  #1291: Kawarake-nage at Asukayama Park
            Asukayama kawarake-nage  飛鳥山かわらけなげ
 #1285: Ōji Paper Company Viewed from Asukayama Park
            Asukayama kōenchi Ōji seishi kaisha 飛鳥山公園地王子製紙会社
 Series  Famous Places of Tokyo: Past and The Present (Kokon Tokyo meisho 古今東京名所)
 Artist  Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842–1894)
 Signature
廣重画 Hiroshige ga  (#1291 left; #1285 right)
 Seal  no seal
 Publication Date
While the date seems to read 明治十 [Meiji 10; 1877] as printed in the left margin of #1285, the actual date of publication is more likely 明治十六 [Meiji 16; 1883] or 明治十 [Meiji 17; 1884] as are all other prints in the series that carry dates were published in 1883 or 1884.  Most likely, a digit was inadvertently left off the date.
 Publisher

seal of the publisher Tsujiokaya Bunsuke, as printed in the left margin of #1285 and reading:
 出板人横山丁三丁目二番地辻岡文助
Shuppanjin Yokoyamachō Sanchōme 2-banchi Tsujioka Bunsuke [Marks: pub. ref. 548; seal ref. 25-267]
artist's address and family name, as printed in the left margin of #1291 and reading: 
画工 [
gakō] followed by address, followed by 安藤 徳兵衛 [Andō Tokubei] 

 Carver  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good 
 Genre  ukiyo-e; meisho-e
 Miscellaneous
markings in upper right hand corner of each print, indicating whether the view shown is the past , or old (古), view or the present, or now (今), view. Each print is also marked with the number 十, likely indicating that the print is number 10 in the series, although some prints in the series do not carry a number.
 Format  chūban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 
 IHL Cat. #1291: 7 1/4 x 9 3/8 in. (18.4 x 23.8)
 IHL Cat. #1285: 7 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (18.4 x 23.7 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #1291: 6 9/16 x 8 9/16 in. (16.7 x 21.7 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1285: 6 1/2 x 8 9/16 in. (16.5 x 21.7 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 Banknote & Postage Stamp Museum
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