We also saw / the husband and wife rocks: / but we miss / our hometown. / Futagawa station (女夫石 / みるにつけても / ふるさとは / こしひかりけり / ふた川の宿). The words of the kyoka (狂歌) poem by Toho Kakimatsuya (東方垣真艶), written in the upper left of the work, accompany this depiction of the Futagawa station (二川宿) made between 1840 and 1842 by the artist Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重). The poem suggests that the travelers rushing to take shelter from a rainstorm have just visited the Meotoishi (女夫石) “husband and wife rocks”, which must have been a well-known landmark, located in the old village from which that post station had developed.
This precious woodblock print is the thirty-fourth panel of the “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road” (東海道五拾三次), a series also known as the “Kyoka Tokaido” (狂歌入東海道) due to the presence, in fact, of poetic compositions combined with the stations of the famous route that connected Edo (江戸) or today’s Tokyo (東京), the shogun’s capital, with the imperial capital Kyoto (京都).
The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂), despite obvious signs of cracking of the paper and two small holes on the upper edge, is in overall good condition.