A spring scene with cherry blossom trees in full bloom painted by Utagawa Hiroshige I (歌川 広重, 1797–1858). This ukiyo-e gives a good impression of the crowded streets in the pleasure quarters at daytime. Two groups of geishas are entering the street from the right and the left, given shelter from the sunlight by huge umbrellas. Here they are visiting the Yoshiwara district in Edo. This picture is named Cherry Blossom Time at Naka-no-chô in the Yoshiwara 吉原仲の町桜時 as a part of the series Famous places in Edo (source: Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).
This is a woodblock print of the Monkey Bridge 猿槁 in the Kai Province 甲斐國 made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) in 1841/42. The old bridge is located in the Yamanashi Prefecture and was rebuilt in 1984. You find more interesting pictures of the Sarubashi Bridge here.
Ando Hiroshige’s 安藤 広重 (1797-1858) Mount Fuji seen across a Ray made in 1856. The picture is part of the series Famous Views of the 60 Provinces 六十余州名所図会 showing a Pine Grove at Mio in Suruga Province, located in the centre of Shizuoka Prefecture. Mount Fuji has no snow on top, so it must be in summertime. The lake is painted in beautiful blue shades with tiny sailing ships moving from right to left. There is a little breeze as you can see small waves and the sails are blown. The deep blue color is used as a frame: see the shore of the lake and the sky at the top of the picture. The curves of the clouds surrounding Mount Fuji and the shape of the headland are corresponding in shape. Contrasting colors of red and green plus the rich blue create a powerful picture.
Utagawa Hiroshige I 歌川 広重 (1797–1858) painted The View of Kônodai and the Tone River 鴻の台とね川風景 as a part of his series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo in 1856. Utagawa created an illusion of distance in this scenic picture of a long riverbed. At the right side of the background you find Mount Fuji. He added also some lovely details: look at the three people at the cliff line, which gives you a hint of the cliff’s height. This is without doubt a beautiful view.
This ukiyo e was made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) around 1836.
It is named Tsumago, of the series The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso kaidô 木曾街道六十九次, number 42. It shows how traveling was like in the old days along the Kiso river valley from Nihonbashi to Kyoto. Metaphorically speaking people are coming and going, each has to carry a different burden and a place to go.
Japanese fireworks are nowadays very common in summertime. In the beginning of the Edo period (1600- 1868) they were celebrated by the firework manufacturers Tamaya and Kagiya, who both competed with each other.
You can see the beautiful hanabi 花火, which means flower-fire everywhere in Japan. The summer is hot and humid and if you are sleepless you can enjoy the beautiful spectacle. Hanabi is a symbol of transience as much as the cherry blossom of the spring.
Toyohara Kunichika 豊原 国周 (1835-1900): Fireworks at the Sumida-gawa (left)
Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858): Fireworks at Ryôgoku, 1845 (Edo, today’s Tôkyô) (right top)
Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858): Fireworks at Ryôgoku Bridge, 1854 (Edo, today’s Tôkyô) (right bottom)