Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Prints Title: Bikuni Bridge in Snow (Bikunibashi setchű), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: October 1858
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 36.9 x 25.2 cm (14 1/2 x 9 15/16 in.)
Date of this edition: October 1858
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Toning, rubbing, soiling, horizontal centerfold, repairs in the left margin, right margin redone. Fair to poor overall condition.
Notes: This print is one of the 3 prints attributed to Hiroshige II, because it was first printed posthumously. However, the design is from Ando Hiroshige.
More about this print: Two types of eating establishments set the scene here. To the right is a stall selling roasted yams. The lantern advertises with clever wordplay that this winter favorite is "tastier than chestnuts." To the left, a shop offers "mountain whale" (yamakujira), a euphemism for the meat of wild animals.
Like other momonjiya ("hairy monster shops"), this establishment would have offered, in addition to the standard fare of boar and deer, such delicacies as bear, monkey, badger, otter, fox, wolf, and weasel. To an Edo clientele, wild-animal flesh had special restorative powers.
Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.