Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858)
Gotenyama, Shinagawa
From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), 1856
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Gift of James A. Michener, 1991

As is further discussed in a video presented near the end of this exhibition, the modernization of Edo City resulted in the disappearance of many of Hiroshige’s "famous views." After Commodore of the U.S. Navy Matthew C. Perry (1794–1858) landed his fleet at Uraga Harbor near Yokohama City and forced the Japanese government to immediately open its ports for international trade in 1853, the shogunate ordered the construction of several small island fortresses in Edo Bay, and to supply material for this project, the lofty bluffs of Gotenyama (literally, "Palace Hill"), which overlooked the Meguro River, were gradually excavated. The lower third of this print shows the muddy remains of what had once been one of Edo’s most majestic sites.

View info on museum database (enabled through support by the Robert F. Lange Foundation)