Utagawa Yoshikata FUJISAWA

FUJISAWA (Utagawa Yoshikata)

Polychrome large vertical format woodblock print taken from the “Scenes of Famous Places along the Tokaido Road” (東海道名所絵), the famous series of prints, also known as “The Processional Tokaido” (御上洛東海道), which was made with a exceptional collaboration of different artists and publishers to commemorate the historic journey from Edo (江戸) to Kyoto (京都) of the procession of the shogun Tokugawa Iemochi (徳川家茂) who in 1863, when the Tokugawa shogunate was in a state of final weakness and dissolution, went to pay his respect to the emperor.

The work, printed by the publisher Koshimuraya Heisuke (越村屋平助), is signed by the artist Utagawa Yoshikata (歌川芳形) and in the background depicts the procession at the station of Fujisawa (藤澤), in today’s Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県), and in the foreground a man who cleans his horse’s hooves and then puts the traditional uma no waraji (馬の草鞋) straw rope sandals on the animal, to help him move better on steep or muddy terrain.

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