Hiroshige's 'Famous Places in the Bay Capital' (1832 - 1856)


There are a number of these prints which use, in the title, a name for the city, 'Kōto', which is an amalgam of one character each from the usual forms - the first character of 'Edo', and the last character of 'Tōto'. That pair of characters is not recorded as alternative name for the city, it appears to be something idiosyncratic to this group of prints.

It does not seem to be purely accidental, as there are too many prints with this name on them. It is not known whether this was simply a playful joke, of the kind often found in print titles, or if there was some other reason. The translation 'Bay Capital' (in the sense of 'capital on the bay') has been chosen for it; this also happens to be the literal translation of those two characters.

The Prints

Many of the prints shown here were printed in multiple editions, at various times: the exact history, relationship of various publication instances, etc. is still being worked out. The dates shown on individual prints are therefore generally the date of the individual print illustrated, not the complete (as far as can be ascertained) publication history of that print.

Prints in all of the series covered here do not appear to have any numbers on them; any number given here is for local reference only.

To see a larger image of any print, please click on the thumbnail.

Famous Places in the Bay Capital - Mid-1830's to Early 1840's

Characteristics: Single vertical cartouche with rounded top and inverse rounded bottom in right margin
Publisher: Kikakudō (Sanoki - Sanoya Kihei)

It is not clear if this group of prints is one series, or two. At the very least, there are two editions; the first edition of 1832-34, and a later edition of 1839-42; the latter has a different version of the publisher's seal (Sanoki, instead of Kikakudō).

It is not clear if an earlier series was re-printed at a later date (perhaps with some additions/changes), or if there was a later series done on the theme of the earlier one. A search will have to be instituted for 'early' and 'late' versions of all the prints shown here; with that data in hand, it may become clearer what's actually going on here.

(I.e. if there are many prints which exist in both 'early' and 'late' versions, it's probably one series which was re-printed later, perhaps with some additions/changes. However, if most prints seem to exist in only one version, that would tend to indicate two separate series.)

The differences between the two views of Kasumigaseki does not really make things clear: although they may be different prints from different series, it is also possible that the blocks used for the earlier version were damaged, or lost, during the period between the two editions.

This may also be the same series as a series with a similar 'Tōto' name.

Thumbnail Number Title (Rōmaji) Title (English) Date Censor(s) Comments
-#In Meguro Fudō mōde Visitors [to the] Fudō [Temple in] Meguro ca. 1832-34 kiwame
-#~142k377 Ueno Shinobazu no ike Shinobazu Pond [at] Ueno ca. 1832-34 kiwame
-#~176k266, ~170k380 Fukagawa Tomigaoka Hachiman Tomigaoka Hachiman [Shrine at] Fukugawa ca. 1832-34 kiwame
-#!6k296 Yushima Tenman-gū Temman Shrine [at] Yushima ca. 1832-34 kiwame
-#^274k344, #259k385 Ōji Inari no yashiro Inari Shrine [at] Ōji ca. 1832-34 kiwame
-#300k314 Yushima Tenjin yashiro The Tenjin Shrine at Yushima ca. 1839-42 kiwame
-# Yoshiwara sakura no zu View of cherry-blossoms [in the] Yoshiwara ca. 1839-42 None
-#~~220k355 Ryōgoku-bashi nōryō Enjoying the evening cool at Ryōgoku Bridge ca. 1839-42 kiwame
-# Kasumigaseki Kasumigaseki ca. 1832-34 kiwame The two different editions have fairly different versions of the Kasumigaseki design: the figures are different, and the earlier edition has soap bubbles blown from a bubble pipe, while the later one has kites in the background.
-#173k266 Kasumigaseki Kasumigaseki 1844-45 Tanaka
-#~~244k292 Susaki Benten keidai Precincts of the Benten Shrine at Susaki ca. 1839-42 kiwame
-#^196k298, ~~166k378 Ueno Tōeizan Tōeizan [Temple in] Ueno 1844-45 Tanaka
# Sumida-gawa hana-zakari [Cherry-]blossoms in full flower [along the] Sumida River ca. 1832-34 kiwame
#189k380, #^216k345 Goten-yama yūkyō Amusements at Goten Hill ca. 1832-34 kiwame
#~~188k266, #~~002k372 Susaki shiohigari Gathering shellfish at low tide at Susaki ca. 1832-34 kiwame
#182k266 Asuka-yama hanami Cherry-blossom viewing [at] Asuka Hill ca. 1832-34 kiwame
#In Shinobazu no ike Benten hokora The Benten Shrine at Shinobazu Pond ca. 1839-42 kiwame
#@^244k278, #!133k279 Nihonbashi Nihonbashi ca. 1839-1842 kiwame
#185k266 Ōji Inari no hokora Inari Shrine at Oji ca. 1839-42 kiwame
#179k266 Kinryūzan no zu View of Kinryūzan [Temple] ca. 1839-42 None
#~~131k266 Shinbashi no zu View of Shinbashi ca. 1839-42 ?? (unreadable, perhaps 'kiwame')
# Fukagawa Hachiman no keidai The precincts of the Hachiman Shrine [in] Fukagawa ca. 1839-42 kiwame

Famous Places in the Bay Capital - Mid-1830's II

Characteristics: Single irregular cartouche in various places in ground
Publisher: Kansendō (Sen'ichi - Izumiya Ichibei)

Like the previous series, this may be the same series as another series with a similar 'Edo' name.

Thumbnail Naumber Title (Rōmaji) Title (English) Date Censor(s) Comments
-# Nihonbashi Nihon Bridge ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-#!157c116 Shiba Shinmei-gū Shimmei Shrine [in] Shiba ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-# Shiba Atago-yama Atago Hill [in] Shiba ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-# Ueno Tōeizan Tōeizan [Temple at] Ueno ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-#194k300 Ryōgoku yoru no kei View of Ryōgoku [Bridge at] night ca. 1835-38 None
-# Eitai-bashi no zu View of Eitai Bridge ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-# Asuka-yama hanami Cherry-blossom viewing at Asuka Hill ca. 1835-38 kiwame
-# Sumida-gawa yuki no kei View of snow [on the] Sumida River ca. 1835-38 None
-#^283k340, #143k347 Yoshiwara Nihon-tsutsumi The Nihon embankment [near the] Yoshiwara ca. 1835-38 None
-# Ōji Inari Inari [Shrine at] Ōji ca. 1835-38 kiwame
# Kameido no zu View of the Kameido [Shrine] ca. 1835-38 kiwame
# Goten-yama no hana Cherry Blossoms at Goten Hill ca. 1835-38 kiwame
#~~119k333, ^158c116 Shiba Zōjō-ji Zōjō Temple [in] Shiba ca. 1835-38 None
# Asakusa Kanzeon no zu View of the Temple of Kannon in Asakusa ca. 1835-38 None
# Fukagawa Hachiman yamabiraki Open Garden at the Hachiman [Shrine in] Fukagawa ca. 1835-38 kiwame


Thanks especially to the compilers of "The Edward Burr Van Vleck Collection of Japanese Prints" (Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990), who made the first attempt known to this author to bring some order to this vast confusion, and whose work has been the tall shoulders upon which this online extension stands.

Thanks also to Fuji Arts, whose Web-site was the source of many additional prints; the Museum of Fine Arts, whose excellent Web-site of their collection provided many images, captions, etc; and John Resig, whose Japanese Woodblock Print Search site has been a great help in locating good images of these prints.

Back to group main page

Back to JNC's home page

© Copyright 2015-2019 by J. Noel Chiappa

Last updated: 1/July/2019