不動の滝 (Fudo Waterfall)

Designer: Ando Hiroshige | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Ayumi Shiba

Size: 15cm by 11cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 30.00£ 24.75€ 27.00

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Description: The image is from an extended series of prints entitled Edo Miyage (Souvenirs of Edo), designed by Hiroshige.

This one depicts Fudo no Taki (Fudo Waterfall) in the Oji area, and even with its clumsy little ‘stick’ figures and rudimentary depiction of foliage provides such a fascinating snapshot of Edo period life that I couldn’t resist including it in our catalogue. My reference books tell me that sea bathing wasn’t common in those days, but that waterfalls of this type were favourite places for relief from hot summer temperatures, with food and drink vendors setting up shop in the coolness of the river valley near the base of the fall.

Who are those people under the waterfall? Would he be a servant, scrubbing her back? But would an upper-class woman do this outdoors in public with people looking on? Or is it more probably a shitamachi couple, who would presumably be less concerned about such things? Or perhaps I’m on the wrong track entirely, and he is a religious attendant, and this is some type of ritual being performed under the falling water.

I sure wish there were some falls like this near me!

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