Hagiwara Hideo, 'In the Valley between the Buildings' (Biru no tanima ni), a colour woodblock print

Hagiwara Hideo, In the Valley

© 2001 Hagiwara Hideo

Height: 450.000 mm
Width: 565.000 mm

Asia JA 2000.3-29.03

From the series 'Thirty-six Fujis' (Sanjū-roku Fuji)

The view is from Shinjuku on the west side of the centre of Tokyo, the 'second city centre' (fuku-toshin) that underwent staggering development of high-rise buildings in the period of rapid economic growth from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The artist has juxtaposed distant Fuji with the unyielding side of a skyscraper in the foreground. At the fringes of West Shinjuku, the current high-water marks of redevelopment, the scale of the buildings suddenly drops away to normal again, providing a clear perspective westwards across Musashi Plain.

However, today Fuji is only visible from Tokyo for a few days each year when the meteorological conditions relieve the smog and exhaust fumes, typically on New Year's Day when the traffic stops.