I’ve mentioned them before here on the website, but when I saw these Suiban by Master Painter Sano Daisuke, I thought these would be an excellent opportunity to go into much greater detail about Ando Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road.
The Tokaido Road was the commerce and transport artery between the Shogunate capital of Edo and the Imperial capital of Kyoto. Hiroshige first traveled it in 1832, and created the first series of woodblock prints of the 53 stations a year or two later. Along with Katsushika Hokusai’s(previously mentioned on the blog as well) woodblock prints, they created a new trend among the Japanese literati for landscape prints.
Hiroshige’s prints of the 53 stations are important both to Japanese art in general, and bonsai pottery art specifically. Many(if not all) of the major painters of bonsai ceramics have painted versions of the 53 stations, first, and most famously, Tsukinowa Yusen. I’ve also seen full versions, and parts, from Tsukinowa Shosen(at last years Gafu Ten a full compliment was displayed) Fujikake Yuzan, Tosui, Isseki, and Haruyoshi. The most famous of Hiroshige’s 53 Stations is the Hōeidō edition, which includes views of the 53 stations plus an extra for the Nihonbashi and Kyoto, for a total of 55 prints.
The version presented here is Sano Daisuke’s rendering of the Hōeidō edition in full. For comparison shots, see
Hōeidō edition Wiki
And scroll down to the “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (Hōeidō edition)”.
Now, on to the Suiban!
We’ll begin with the beginning and the end(or the end and the beginning, respectively). Here we have the last of the prints on the left, Sanjō Ōhashi at Keishi (“Arriving at the capital”); and the first of the prints on the right, Nihonbashi(“The Bridge of Japan”).
Here, for comparison, is a detail view of Hiroshige’s original “Nihonbashi” and Daisuke’s Homage. Note the differences.
And the original 55th print, Arriving at the Capitol.
The full collection, 55 Suiban by Daisuke with Kiri Bako.
A few two plate detail views.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Shirasuka”(the 32nd station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Fujieda”(the 23rd station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Kawasaki”(the 2nd station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Okazaki”(the 38th station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Futagawa”(the 33rd station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Hodogaya”(the 4th station) and Hiroshige’s original.
Detail of Daisuke’s “Totsuka”(the 5th station) and Hiroshige’s original.
And, a few other Homages to the 53 Stations:
First, we have the entire 55 prints emulated by Chinese Painter 景徳鎮, KeiTokuShin, with two detail shots.
And three Miyazaki Isseki. Now, go here:
Isseki Pot Video
Haruyoshi Winter scenes. While not direct copies of Hiroshige’s Tokaido, they owe much to Hiroshige’s depiction of “Kambara”.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this glimpse into the history of painted Bonsai containers. Up next, Bonsai Sekai article, and From my Collection 16!
Happy New Year!