Andō Hiroshige
Spring Rain at Tsuchiyama
1832 - 1834

Signed: Hiroshige ga; Publisher’s seal: Ho’eidō (Takeuchi Magohachi); censor’s seal: kiwame; ōban, yoko-e, 24.0 x 36.2 cm; nishiki-e with fukibokashi

Print No. 50 (station no. 49) from “53 Stations of the Tōkaidō”. The Tsuchiyama Station marks the most difficult segment of the Tōkaidō, on the border between the provinces of Mie and Ōmi. The advance party of the daimyō expedition is caught in a heavy spring rain on a bridge. By means of ornamental stylization and daring cuts, Hiroshige gave this work a very striking effect. Between 1832 and 1857 Hiroshige created a total of 20 Tōkaidō series, most of which can be viewed on the encyclopaedic homepage www.hiroshige.org.uk.

Monnsen, Stockholm; F. Tikotin, Corseaux (June 1968)
Riese Collection #154

The way station of Tsuchiyama was located on the north-west slope of Suzuka Pass which linked the provinces of Mie and Ōmi and was, after the pass at Hakone, the most difficult section of the Tōkaidō Road. Nearby stood the Katayama Shrine, whose god, Suzuka Daimyōjin, protected against floods and forest fires. Being at the foot of a mountain range, Tsuchiyama was probably a rainy place, but Hiroshige may have had the benevolent god of the Katayama Shrine also in mind when he designed this print with its gentle rain.
This is a fine impression. An equally fine impression is reproduced in colour in Ukiyo-e Taikei, vol. 14, no. 50.