The Tamagawa of Noda


The Tamagawa of Noda
Print   (Part of the set: Masterpiece Ukiyo-e Collection - Part 2)

Kubo Shunman


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


This print, sometimes titled "Plovers at Tamagawa", is from the series Mu Tamagawa (六玉川, "Six Views of Tama River", also known as "Six Jewel Rivers" or "Six Crystal Rivers") by Shunman.

Three women stand by the Tama River while plovers dive overhead. Two of the women, perhaps a courtesan and a village girl, smoke their pipes. A strong breeze is blowing but it is probably not too chilly, as the leaves of the Japanese maple tree to the right suggest it is autumn. The scenery is echoed in the river design in the kimono of the woman at the left, highlighted with some delicate karazuri blind-embossing.

The series by Shunman represented rivers in six provinces - Ide (Hagi) no Tamagawa in Yamashiro, Mishima (Tôi or Kinuta) no Tamagawa in Settsu, Noji no Tamagawa in Omi, Kôya no Tamagawa in Kii, Chôfu no Tamagawa in Musashi, and Noda (Chidori) no Tamagawa in Mutsu (depicted in this print). Each of the rivers was associated with a classical poem. This print was the second from the left in Shunman's series of six prints, which could be placed next to each other to make a hexaptych.

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