Arts - Spring 2015

Road Show

The woodblock prints of Utagawa Hiroshige

By Sudip Bose | March 4, 2015
Utagawa Hiroshige, Mishima Station (Arthur M. Sackler Gallery)
Utagawa Hiroshige, Mishima Station (Arthur M. Sackler Gallery)


In Japan’s Edo Period, the bustling Tōkaidō Road connected the seat of the shogunate, Edo (modern-day Tokyo), and the imperial capital of Kyoto. In 1832, the artist Utagawa Hiroshige walked the 300-mile-long route and became entranced with the landscapes he encountered along the way. The impressions remained with him long after he had completed his journey, resulting in a series of woodblock prints known as The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō. The prints, acclaimed both in Japan and in the West, can be seen at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., part of The Traveler’s Eye exhibition, which runs through May 31.

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