Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858)
Night View of Saruwaka-machi
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

Kabuki theater, a key feature of Edo’s entertainment industry, began in the city when actor Saruwaka Kanzaburō (1598–1658) opened a performance hall in 1624. By the late 19th century, a thriving theater district, named the Saruwaka-machi, had arisen in Asakusa ward. Here, Hiroshige describes the atmosphere of that street. Though the three theaters, located on the right, are all closed in preparation for the upcoming season of performances, business at the teahouses that face the theaters is bustling.

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