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travelers bow under a light rain as they cross the repeating arches of the Kintai Bridge, in the distance low clouds begin to obscure a mountain; signed zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu, with publisher’s seal Eijudo (Nishimura Yohachi) and censor’s kiwame seal, ca. 1834.
oban yoko-e 10 by 14 1/2 in., 25.3 by 36.7 cm
There are only eleven known designs for this series illustrating famous bridges. The Kintai-bashi, or ‘Bridge of the Brocade Sash,’ spanning the Nishikigawa (Brocade River) in Iwakuni was built by Kikkawa Hiroyoshi in 1673. Comprised of four stone pilings and five arches, the bridge was engineered to withstand annual flooding that had destroyed earlier wood versions; it survived until 1950 when it was destroyed in a typhoon. The building on the opposite bank is the mansion of the Kikkawa clan, the daimyo of Iwakuni. A retainer accompanying a samurai beneath an umbrella on the second arch heading towards the Kikkawa mansion carries a standard that is in the distinctive diamond shape of Eijudo’s publisher seal.
J. Hillier, Hokusai: Paintings, Drawings and Woodcuts, 1955, no. 66
Seiji Nagata, Hokusai: Genius of the Japanese Ukiyo-e, 1995, p. 48, no. 46
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai: Il vecchio pazzo per la pittura, 1999, p. 340, no. V.47.9
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai, 2003, p. 284, no. v.47.9
Mathew Welch & Yuiko Kimura-Tilford, Worldly Pleasures, Earthly Delights: Japanese Prints from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,2011, p. 221, no. 183
Near and Far: Landscapes by Japanese Artists, The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, California, January 6 – April 20, 2013