Andō Hiroshige
Red Maple at the Tsūten Bridge

Signed: Hiroshige ga; Publisher’s seal: Kawaguchi han (Kawaguchi Uhei); ōban, yoko-e, 22.2 x 35.5 cm; nishiki-e with fukibokashi

From the series “Famous Places in Kyōto”. Tsūten-kyō, the “Bridge to Heaven”, was built over a gorge in 1379 in order to connect two Tōfukuji temple halls. A pilgrim with a round bamboo hat is looking down from the bridge at a picnic scene under the trees. Tōkaede (“Chinese Maple”) grows on the banks of the brook. This was a popular excursion site in the Edo period, and the maple became so famous that it was also called Tsūten after the bridge.

: Haviland (Hotel Drouot, Paris, June 1925); Rousselot (Paris, 1949); N. Chaikin, Tolochenaz (February 1966)
Riese Collection #156

Tsūtenkyō, “The Bridge with Passes to Heaven” was built over a ravine in the temple of Tōfukuji in 1379. A stream called Sengyokukan, the Jewel Washing River ran through the ravine separating two temple buildings, the Hōdō and the Jōrakudō, and a covered corridor twenty-five meters long was built over the stream to connect them. A particular kind of maple, tōkaede, “Chinese maple”, grew on the banks of the ravine. During the Edo period this became a favourite haunt of autumn sightseers and picnickers, and the maples became so famous that this species was often popularly called Tsūten, after the bridge.

Reproduced in: Ingelheim catalogue, no. 127a.