Area of Eight Streets from the Gate Sudzikai by Utagawa Hiroshige

Area of Eight Streets from the Gate Sudzikai by Utagawa Hiroshige

Behind the gates of Sudzitigaimon was a square that served to prevent a fire. From her departed eight roads, hence the name – Yatsukoji: “Eight streets.” In Japan, often used the number eight to denote the set of anything. On the map of that time, you can find out that there were actually more than ten streets.

The peculiarity of this engraving is that Hiroshige does not depict the central part of the square with the gates of Sudzikai Gomon. The artist showed a lively square, visible from the gate, a security booth at Sehaybashi Bridge, but the bridge itself is not visible. Unlike the squares

in Europe, squares in Japanese cities did not serve to collect people, they were passing through. The lower left is the procession of the wife of the daimyo, who is in a palanquin covered with a red cloth. The procession is headed by female servants.

On the right below – the roofs of the tea houses, and on the upper left – the residence of the samurai. Along the shore, willows are planted. On the other bank of the Kandagawa River, a Shinto shrine of Kandamezin is seen. In a square cartouche, there is a transparent pattern of the tortoise shell. Like many other sheets of the series, the late version of this engraving is more intense in color. In addition, the artist has replaced the yellow background of the square cartouche with red, which makes the engraving more distinct and harmonious..

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