- Museum number
Painting, hanging scroll. Bird's-eye view across Ise Bay with 'wedded rocks' at Futamigaura, joined by sacred rope in middle-ground; distant rising sun behind Mt Fuji; tiny figures on beach prostrating themselves in worship. Ink and light colours on silk. Signed, sealed and inscribed. With inscribed paulownia storage box.
- Production date
- 1811 (?)
Height: 139.20 centimetres (mount)
Height: 43.40 centimetres
Width: 90.40 centimetres (mount)
Width: 70.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
This bird's-eye view across Ise Bay encompasses the 'wedded rocks' at Futaminoura, joined by a sacred rope, in the middle-ground and distant rising sun behind Mt Fuji. Some of the tiny figures on the beach are clearly prostrating themselves in worship. The inscription, a 'waka' poem, is by the high-ranking courtier Fujinami Hirotada (1759-1824), of the line of hereditary court superintendents of rebuilding ('zogu-shi') and ceremonial ('saishu') at the Ise Grand Shrine. It may be translated:
Is there need 'Yorite miru'
To approach and see? 'Kai mo aru kana'
On a spring morning 'Futaminoura no'
When the breeze has stilled. 'Haru mo asanagi.'
A long box inscription written on the inside of the lid of the painting's paulownia storage box, which can also confidently be taken to be by Hirotada, explains how in the middle of the third month, 1811, he went with a group of friends to worship at the Ise Shrine. On the return journey they lodged at an inn at Futami, from which they prepared to worship the rising sun. Most unusually and in spite of the great distance, Mt Fuji was clearly illuminated by the sun's rays and this is the view that he asked the artist Kazan to record. It is not clear from the wording if Kazan was present on the pilgrimage as well and, as Wakisaka Atsushi has pointed out, the composition of the painting could equally well be an adaption of the printed view of Futaminoura in the gazetteer 'Ise sangu meisho zue' ('Illustrations of Famous Places on the Pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine'), with text and illustrations both by Shitomi Kangetsu (1747-97), published posthumously in 1799. Pilgrimages to the Ise Shrine were the occasion for the movement of huge numbers of people, particularly during the so-called 'thanksgiving pilgrimages' ('o-kage mairi') that occurred, seemingly spontaneously, every sixty years or so. In 1830, during the last of these to occur in the Edo period, some 2,280,000 people are said to have flocked to Ise in the course of a month.
There are various conflicting accounts of the artistic training undertaken by Yokoyama Kazan, who was adopted into a Kyoto family of loom-weavers. Among several painters said to be his teacher are Gan Ku (1749-1838) and Go Shun (1752-1811), and copies are known by Kazan of the eccentric works of Soga Shohaku (1730-81). The painting style here, with delicately silhouetted trees and careful modulation of the ink tones in the rocks, clearly derives from the mainstream Maruyama-Shijo idiom.
'Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan'. vol. 3, Tokyo, Kodansha, 1993, no. 69 (commentary by Wakisaka Atsushi).
Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3
This bird's-eye view of the coast at Futamigaura, with the famous "husband-and-wife" rock in the centre, also shows Mt. Fuji in the distance with the sun rising above it. The figures seen in various stances watching the sun rise on the beach, together with the 'tsuketate' technique used in various parts of the picture and the trees seen in the half-light of dawn, show the influence of Goshun's style; it is a typical 'meisho-e', with a mild, poetic atmosphere. Whereas the picture shown in color plate 68 might be called fresh and sensuous, the present work has, rather, a genial sedateness. Kazan was an artist of no mean technique.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001, 11 May-29 Jul, BM Japanese Galleries, '100 Views of Mount Fuji'
2006 22 May-3 Sept, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, 'Art at the Rockface'
2006-2007 23 Sept-7 Jan, Sheffield, Millennium Galleries, 'Art at the Rockface'
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Ise sangu meisho zue (Illustrations of Famous Places on the Pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine) (?)
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.798 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)