Copyright/attribution: ©Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives

Copyright/attribution: ©Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives

Winter: Snow on the Sumida River (Fuyu, Sumidagawa no yuki 冬 隅田川之雪) (woodblock print)

A boatman wearing a straw hat and raincoat poles a raft along the Sumida River, which flows through the downtown area of the capital city, Edo. Snow falls all over the surface of the print, effectively sealing off the world in the picture. The dreamlike impression also extends to the indefinite border between the river and sky. The classical waka poem at the upper left can be translated as follows: (Snow falls over the surface of the Sumida River,/ Unmelted masses might be capital birds.) "Capital birds" refers to an episode from the tenth-century literary classic the Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari), in which travelers from the ancient capital, Kyoto, see a type of gull along the Sumida River that reminds them of their home far away. Publiser: Kawaguchiya Shōzō (Eijudō). Signed: Hiroshige ga. Censor's seal: Kiwame. Publisher's seal: Kawaguchiya.

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