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British topography, especially East Anglia and the fens; history and archaeology; natural history; esoteric, occult, wicca, paranormal, spiritual, mysticism and religion.

Hiroshige : One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Japanese Woodblock Prints)


The 100 full-size colour illustrations are made from one of the finest complete original sets of woodblock prints belonging to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo, each with full descriptive text printed in three languages: English, German & French;; Hiroshige was born in 1797 in the Yayosu Quay section of the Yaesu area in Edo (modern Tokyo). He was of a samurai background. Not long after his parents' deaths, perhaps aged around fourteen, Hiroshige began painting. He studied under Toyohuro of the famous Utagawa School of Japanese woodblock print artists & by 1812 was permitted to sign his works. It was not until 1829–1830 that Hiroshige began to produce the landscapes for which he has come to be known. In 1856, Hiroshige "retired from the world," becoming a Buddhist monk; this was the year he began his One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. He died aged 62 during the great Edo cholera epidemic of 1858 (whether the epidemic killed him is unknown) and was buried in a Zen Buddhist temple in Asakusa. Just before his death, he left a poem: "I leave my brush in the East And set forth on my journey. I shall see the famous places in the Western Land." (The Western Land in this context refers to the strip of land by the Tōkaidō between Kyoto and Edo, but it does double duty as a reference to the paradise of the Amida Buddha).