Jul 16, 2014

Seki, from the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō

Seki, from the series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō

c. 1848–49

Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重

(Japanese, 1797–1858)

Color woodblock print

Sheet: 24.8 x 37.5 cm (9 3/4 x 14 3/4 in.)

Bequest of Edward L. Whittemore 1930.186



This print from one of Hiroshige’s later Tōkaidō series completely reconceives the scene at Seki. An earlier series showed an entourage of a daimyō, preparing to leave an inn, but this view plunges the station into the depths of a dark winter. Daimyō were regional military rulers during Japan’s Edo period. As the central government required them to live in the capital, Edo, in alternating years, daimyō processions along the Tōkaidō thoroughfare were a frequent sight. This print, however, emphasizes the pilgrimage route to Japan’s principal site of religious worship, the Ise Shrine, indicated by the traditional red gate to the shrine.

See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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