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Edo Pop Pick: View of the Whirlpools in Awa Province, 1857

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

In celebration of our newest show, Edo Pop, each week, we are giving you a taste of the sensuality, fashion, and decadent entertainment of young urban sophisticates of Japan’s pre-modern era. If you haven’t experienced Edo Pop yet (or even if you already have), stop on by the MIA!  Read more about the exhibition here.

What images would best celebrate the scenic beauty of Minneapolis?

Utagawa Hiroshige; Published by Okazawaya Taheiji, View of the Whirlpools in Awa Province, 1857,  April 1857. Color woodblock print (nishiki-e).

In 1857, the year before he died, Hiroshige designed one of his most ambitious undertakings—a set of three triptychs celebrating the scenic beauty of Japan. Each of these landscape panoramas illustrates a different aspect of nature: the forbidding power of mountains cloaked in snow (Mountains and River at Kiso Gorge), the calm of a moonlit bay (Eight Views of Kanazawa in Musashi Province at Night; on view nearby this print), and the restless energy of the sea in this composition. Together, they form the traditional subject grouping setsu-getsu-ka (snow, moon, flowers). Here, the whirlpools of the Naruto Strait, between the islands of Shikoku and Awaji, form aquatic “blossoms” with their spiraling currents. Attracting throngs of visitors each year, the sight remains as popular today as it was in Hiroshige’s time.

Read more about this print!

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