Protocols to Mitsumata. Vakare-nofunti by Utagawa Hiroshige

Protocols to Mitsumata. Vakare nofunti by Utagawa Hiroshige

Not far from the Mannenbasi Bridge, in the lower reaches of the Sumidagawa River, the Hakozakagawa Channel separated from its main channel. At the intersection of the two arms of the river, the island of Hakozaki was formed. Behind this terrain, the name Mizumata – “fork” – was fixed. Its other name is Vakarenofunti, because there were passages of fresh and salt water that appeared in the river during the tide in the Edo Gulf.

Not far from Hakozaki, near the Sin-Ohashi Bridge, there were bulk lands of Nakadzak, which housed one of the popular entertainment districts in Edo. Here, restaurants,

tea shops, entertainment establishments flourished. But in 1789, on the orders of Shogun Matsudaira Sadanobu, the shoal was razed and turned into a channel again. Hiroshige depicts the place where Nakazaka was, in the foreground of the engraving. On the right, on the island of Hakozaki were the daimyo mansions. One of them, with a red gate, cut off the edge of the sheet, belonged to the Governor Bityu-no Kami named Hota.

In the background, Fuji rises, with a black peak and white slopes. More complex in the second version is the color of stylized fogs at the foot of Fuji. A bright yellow strip near the horizon becomes scarlet. The strip of bokasi in the later sheet passes along the bottom edge.

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