Sanctuary of Benten on the pond of Inokasira no Ike by Utagawa Hiroshige



Sanctuary of Benten on the pond of Inokasira no Ike by Utagawa Hiroshige

The pond of Inokasira was in the Musashi-no area, where there were many springs. This area is significantly removed from the center of Edo, it is difficult to call it even a suburb of the capital. The history of the pond is connected with Tokugawa Ieyasu, who appreciated

the transparency and taste of the water in the pond and ordered the construction of an aqueduct to supply drinking water to Edo.

The Kanda-Jesse aqueduct was built at the beginning of the 17th century, the water did not dry out even during the severe drought. The pond was fed by seven underground keys, another name – Nanai no Ike. It had a narrow and elongated shape, the length of about a kilometer. From the pond there was a view of the Nikko ridge, but Hiroshige shows it on the south side, although the pond itself is visible from the northeast. Probably, it was not so important, the main thing is that all residents of Edo knew that the pond opened a distant view of the Nikko Mountains.

On the island in the middle of the pond was the Sanctuary of Benten no yashiro, his Hiroshige shows, using a strictly frontal view, as in the depiction of the bridge leading to it. Yellow stripes of clouds in the background change their color in the sheet of the late edition. The trees of the first and second plans acquire clear, dark outlines. The red glow on the horizon gradually turns into a dark blue strip.

Sanctuary of Benten on the pond of Inokasira no Ike by Utagawa Hiroshige
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