Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, Hoeido Tokaido - Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

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Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido

In 1832 Hiroshige traveled with an entourage of the shogun's officials from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto along the Tokaido road. This journey was an eye opening and life changing experience for him. As an urban man of Edo, he had experienced life mainly in the capital. His journey along the Tokaido, through the rural enclaves and natural beauty of his country, had a deep impact on Hiroshige.

He immediately returned to Edo after the trip and began his masterwork woodblock series from the sketches he had made along the amazing journey. Published from about 1833 - 1834, The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, or Hoeido Tokaido, earned Hiroshige great popular and critical acclaim during his lifetime and for generations to come.

He expertly captures moody and atmospheric weather conditions, rendering mist, rain, snow, and evening effects with great skill and beauty. His poetic landscapes have a distinctly human touch about them, the addition of figures that lend a personal element to balance the beauty and wonder of nature.

This series offers viewers the opportunity to be transported back in time to Hiroshige's Japan in the shadow of the Tokugawa Shogunate and to see this life as the artist experienced it. Hiroshige went on to design nearly twenty different Tokaido series during his lifetime, but the Hoeido Tokaido remains his finest, rightfully securing his position as one of the greatest Japanese woodblock artists.

End Series Text - Updated 07/30/17

Table of Contents

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Map of the Tokaido Road

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Morning View at Nihon Bridge

This scene occurs around 4 a.m. when the wooden gates of the district were open for early morning traffic. A fantastic first print from the Tokaido series as the daimyo party sets out for the long journey to Kyoto. A great choice for the collector or for display. Beautiful, famous Hiroshige print.

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Processional Standard-bearers at Nihon Bridge

Fantastic, original print from Hiroshige's Hoeido Tokaido. This great scene the first image from the Tokaido series showing the Nihonbashi at the center of Edo as a daimyo procession in strict military formation crosses over the bridge. In the foreground, seemingly indifferent to the oncoming daimyo procession, a group of villagers, merchants and Edoites mill about. Terrific Hiroshige design and a great print from the series.

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Sunrise at Shinagawa

Shinagawa was the first station, about five miles from the Nihon Bridge. This fantastic print shows a daimyo procession moving past the quaint buildings along the water's edge at Shinagawa. A wonderful scene from the series and a personal favorite, Hiroshige captures the charming Japanese village and quintessential Edo period scenery.

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Daimyo's Departure at Shinagawa

Shinagawa was the first station, about five miles from the Nihon Bridge. This fantastic print shows a daimyo procession moving past the quaint buildings along the water's edge at Shinagawa. A wonderful scene from the series and a personal favorite, Hiroshige captures the charming Japanese village and quintessential Edo period scenery.

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The Rokugo Ferry at Kawasaki

A peaceful river scene with a ferry and six passengers who are casually engaged in puffing a pipe or conversing. The ferry moves from the far shore where a group of travelers with a horse and palanquin wait for its return. Beautiful view of Fuji in the upper right. Fantastic, classic Tokaido print. Great Hiroshige image and nice choice for a collector.

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The Hill at Kanagawa

Lovely scene of the bay at Kanagawa by Hiroshige and a fantastic image from his Tokaido series. Porters and servers carrying parcels along the path leading to the tranquil bay. Classic Hiroshige landscape imagery. Great old print, attractive piece for a collector.

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Shinmachi Bridge at Hodogaya

Terrific Hiroshige view of Hodogaya and the Shinmachi Bridge. Samurai and a palanquin cross over the bridge toward the busy street, lined with houses and shops.

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Junction with the Road to Kamakura at Totsuka

A fantastic first state of the Totsuka composition. A waitress welcomes new guests at the picturesque teashop with the sign reading "Komeya." A man dismounts from his horse, beside him a groom stands by newly arrived. A woman pauses for a moment and removes her hat. At the stone mile marker next to the stone lantern, travelers are given the direction: "To the left, the road to Kamakura." Wonderful Hiroshige Tokaido print.

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Junction with the Road to Kamakura at Totsuka

A fantastic second state of the Totsuka composition. A waitress welcomes new guests at the picturesque teashop with the sign reading "Komeya." A man mounts his horse to continue his journey, beside him a groom stands by. A woman pauses for a moment and removes her hat. At the stone mile marker next to the stone lantern, travelers are given the direction: "To the left, the road to Kamakura." Wonderful Hiroshige Tokaido print.

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Yugyoji Temple at Fujisawa

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The Nawate Road at Hiratsuka

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Tora Rain at Oiso

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The Sakawa River at Odawara

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The Lake at Hakone

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Morning Mist at Mishima

Wonderful Hiroshige Tokaido print of the Mishima station on a cool morning. Two bearers carrying a man in a palanquin along with a man on horseback and attendants with the small traveling party. This is a fantastic scene from life along the Tokaido that established Hiroshige as one of the finest lyrical artists of the Japanese woodblock print. A wonderful choice for a collector looking for a fine Tokaido print.

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Twilight at Numazu

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Mount Fuji in the Morning from Hara

Hara is considered an ideal location for viewing Mt. Fuji. The magnificent mountain is seen here in this clear, beautiful view. Below, Fuji's foothills and expansive marshy reed filled land, a feeding group for cranes. Beautiful rural scenery, fantastic, fine Hiroshige design.

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Mount Fuji Seen on the Left of the Road at Yoshiwara

The famous stretch of Tokaido identified as "Fuji on the Left." This beautiful rural place in Hiroshige's Japan was an artist's favorite subject. Along this stretch of the Tokaido road, Fuji is viewed from the left, the only place along the road where Fuji is seen from the left and not from the right. In this rural stretch of road, rice farms predominated, here the rice paddies stretching out beyond the base of the mountain. Fantastic Hiroshige design, wonderful piece for the collector.

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Night Snow at Kambara

Kambara is the most acclaimed of Hiroshige's works, it is considered a world-class masterpiece. Hiroshige depicts the snowy night in a village with three travelers, two moving toward the right and one towards the left. A splendid midnight snow scene, created mainly in a monotone of black-and-white. The figures, softly colored - the only colorful images in this beautiful, lonely scene. Great choice for a collector. Bid now!

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The Satta Pass at Yui

A lovely view from Hiroshige's Tokaido series, Hiroshige depicts the cliff of the pass at left and the strikingly beautiful Kiyomi Bay and its sailboats at the right. Snow covered Fuji rises near the center. A beautiful tranquil design from the Tokaido series and a collector's favorite.

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The Okitsu River at Okitsu

Wonderful, Hiroshige print depicting traveling sumo wrestlers near Tago Beach, crossing the Okitsu River. One wrestler sits atop a horse while four men struggle to carry the other in a palanquin. This is a fantastic image with the rock jutting out in the background and sail boats on the lake during a sunny day

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Distant View of Miho at Ejiri

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The Abe River near Fuchu

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The Famous Teahouse at Mariko

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Utsu Mountain at Okabe

The beautiful and treacherous Utsu pass about 4 miles from Mariko. Lovely Hiroshige image of this beautiful landscape scenery in the fall.

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Changing Porters and Horses at Fujieda

Terrific, Hiroshige Hoeido Tokaido print depicting travelers and laborers at Fujieda. In the foreground, workers unload heavy packages from horses, while in the background an elderly traveler secures transport to the next station. Lovely, simple print of typical life along the Tokaido road.

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The Suruga Bank of the Oi River near Shimada

A beautiful, Tokaido print showing the shallow river crossing near Shimada. In dry weather, the Oi was actually a stream and was quite easily crossed by the large parties traveling down the Tokaido road. This terrific Hiroshige print showing a daimyo party crossing the road and using the assistance of local servants to carry palanquins and parcels accompanying the daimyo party. A wonderful Hiroshige print and great opportunity to buy from Hiroshige's Hoeido Tokaido.

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The Distant Bank of the Oi River Seen from Kanaya

A beautiful and desolate area along the Tokaido road. Hiroshige's lovely view showing a small party crossing the river which has expanded some from spring rains. An important station along the Tokaido Highway, this area leading to Kanaya, which was a small town that often accommodated travelers stranded during high water after rains. Beautiful Hiroshige print.

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Sayo no Nakayama Mountain near Nissaka

A fantastic Hiroshige landscape from his Hoeido Tokaido. In this print, travelers stop to inspect the Night-weeping Stone, a large boulder in the middle of the road. The boulder was rumored to lie in a spot where a pregnant woman was attacked and killed by bandits. Every night, the stone was said to weep out of sorrow for the woman. Travelers pass on their way up the steep slope and mountains rise in the distance - great design.

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Distant View of Mount Akiba at Kakegawa

Terrific Hiroshige landscape from his Hoeido Tokaido series. In the foreground, travelers cross a bridge at Kakegawa on a windy day, kites flying above. Workers toil in the rice paddies beyond and Mount Akiba rises in the distance. Beautiful color and excellent detail in this Hiroshige print.

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Outdoor Tea Stall at Fukuroi

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The Tenryu River at Mitsuke

A close-up scene along the Tokaido depicting the laborious crossing of the Tenryu River. Two ferry men wait for their passengers on a boat in the foreground. Great Hiroshige design. Lovely Tokaido image. Great choice for a collector.

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Winter Desolation at Hamamatsu

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The Imagiri Promontory from Maisaka

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Ferryboats at Arai

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Ocean View Slope Near Shirasuka

In this beautiful scene, porters are moving up and down the road along the high slope near Shirasuka. Samurai are also making their way along the path. Beautiful open scenery with rolling hills near the ocean in the foreground and a beautiful blue sea beyond. A great Hiroshige image and a classic by the artist, a terrific choice for a collector.

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The Sarugababa Rest Stop at Futakawa

Fantastic print from Hiroshige's famous Hoeido Tokaido series. The lovely rural environs of Futakawa in this quiet stretch of the road, broad slopes of the Sarugababa Plain seen in the distance. On the left, a traditional thatched roof house provided a rest stop where travelers could rest, stock up on necessities, or enjoy a cup of tea. Beautiful, classic imagery from the 19th century by Hiroshige. Lovely color, fine detail, a good choice for a collector.

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The Bridge Over the Toyokawa River at Yoshida

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Women Stopping Travelers at Goyu

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Travelers and Hostesses at an Inn at Akasaka

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The Boundary Marker near Fujikawa

Fantastic, Hiroshige Tokaido print depicting the arrival of the shogun's entourage at Fujikawa on their way to Kyoto. Traditionally, the shogun would send the emperor a gift of horses every year. In this scene, town officials kneel at the town boundaries to welcome the procession. Beautiful coloration in the sky.

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The Bridge over the Yahagi River at Okazaki

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The Summer Horse Fair at Chiryu

Lovely, rural landscape print depicting the village of Chiryu and the lake beyond along the Tokaido road. In this print, Hiroshige depicts the famous annual horse fair that Chiryu was well known for. Every summer horse traders would bring near 500 horses to market in Chiryu for ten days, drawing buyers from nearby areas. A fine print with soft color and excellent detail.

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Arimatsu Tie-dyed Fabrics

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Religious Festival at Atsuta SHrine in Miya

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Landing Entry of the Shichiri Ferry at Kuwana

Wonderful print from Hiroshige's "Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido" depicting sailboats on the sea off Kuwana, a major port town during the Edo period. In the foreground, two sailing vessels enter the harbor, passing by the Kuwana Castle. In the distance, cargo ships and fishing boats sail across the bay. Lovely color in this beautiful Hiroshige print.

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The Mie River Near Yokkaichi

Wonderful Hiroshige print from his famous Hoeido Tokaido. The lone outpost at the Mie River on a windy day. One traveler wearing a kimono billowing in the wind, another chasing his hat having blown off his head. Beautiful old print with lovely soft color and excellent detail.

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Driving Rain at Shono

Fantastic Hiroshige woodblock and one of his most well-known masterworks. The Rain at Shono falling heavily over a footpath, travelers along the path including two carrying a palanquin. A wonderful woodblock masterwork and one of the most famous prints of all time. This beautiful reprint would make an excellent display.

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Clear Weather After Snow at Kameyama

A daimyo procession climbs up the steep slope that runs from the left corner to the top right where Kameyama Castle perches on its stone wall. A sunset sky with shaded pink tones at the horizon is a strikingly beautiful touch in this print. A fantastic old reprint. Beautiful example of Hiroshige's work and a fine old piece. This print would look stunning framed.

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Early Departure from the Main Camp at Seki

Terrific Hiroshige print depicting a daimyo party in the early morning, preparing to leave their overnight lodgings and depart once again on their journey down the Tokaido road. It is still dark, lanterns illuminate the courtyard and members of the daimyo's party prepare themselves for travel. A terrific Hiroshige print with excellent color and fine detail.

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The Peak of Fudesute Mountain from Sakanoshita

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Spring Rain at Tsuchiyama

Hiroshige depicts a daimyo procession in a treacherous rain. The men at the beginning of the procession are crossing a bridge over the water. The flooding river, swollen by the rain, rushes toward the bridge. The heavy rainfall depicted with straight lines covering the entire picture as was Hiroshige's design style. This fantastic composition is considered one of the best of the series. An incredibly rare print to collect and a great opportunity to add an important Hiroshige to a collection.

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Drying Strips of Gourd

Fantastic, Hiroshige Tokaido print of the village of Minakuchi, a small stop on the Tokaido road following the mountainous Tsuchiyama region. In this print, villagers work to produce kampyo (dried slices of gourd) to sell to travelers along the Tokaido road. In the foreground three women work, cutting slices and hanging them to dry. Lovely soft colors in this print, the looming blue of the mountains particularly striking against the thatch roofed houses.

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Mekawa Village near Ishibe

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Ubumochiya Restaurant and Relay Station at Kusatsu

Great print depicting the Kusatsu, one of the busiest stations on the Tokaido road where the Tokaido and Kiso roads converged. In the foreground, two palanquins hurry by while in the background travelers stop to rest and eat at the teahouse. Lovely original print with soft color and fine detail.

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The Running Well Teahouse at Otsu

Otsu was the final station before Kyoto, the final destination along the Tokaido road. A harbor town and location of several famous temples, Otsu is depicted in a common street scene, ox driven carts passing by houses and a teahouse. Inside the teahouse, travelers stop for a rest before the final leg to Kyoto. Terrific, original Hiroshige Tokaido scene.

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The Great Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto

The destination of the Tokaido journey was Kyoto. Here Hiroshige illustrates the arrival in Kyoto, crossing of the great Sanjo Bridge, and a view of Kyoto beyond the River. A terrific last print for the series and wonderful Hiroshige masterwork. A great choice for someone interested in Hiroshige's Hoeido Tokaido.

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