Elegant polychrome woodblock print of vertical chuban (中判) format made around 1838 by Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞). The work is entitled “View of Yokkaichi” (四日市之図) and is taken from the “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road” (東海道五十三次之内), an interesting series in which the artist pairs bijin (美人) beauties depicted in the foreground with, in the background, landscapes mostly taken, as in the case of this windy day, from the homonymous and famous series by Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重).
The Tokaido (東海道), the “coastal road of the East”, connected Edo (江戸) or today’s Tokyo (東京), the shogun’s capital, with the imperial capital Kyoto (京都). Given the administrative, economic and cultural importance of the two cities, it was, and indeed is still today, the main connecting route of Japan.
The precious woodblock print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), printed by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂), despite the right signs of aging as well as a tiny hole in the lower left corner, is in overall good condition.