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Official Opening of Sumida River Cherry Blossom Sightseeing

Illustration of the Great Training Maneuvers by Various Army Corps

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Official Opening of Sumida River

Cherry Blossom Sightseeing

by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1883

Nakamura Shikan IV, Sukedakaya Takasuki IV, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Bandō Kakitsu (in the play Sukeroku, Flower of Edo at the Shintomiza)

IHL Cat. #2248

About This Print

This print depicts Emperor Meiji and an entourage of court ladies on the phoenix boat viewing the cherry trees along Tokyo's Sumida River. It's unclear whether this print was commemorating an actual event that the emperor took part in the spring of 1883, or was just displaying a popular theme to sell prints. It is known, however, that in April 1883, the month before this print was published, the emperor and his entourage paid a visit to "Suziki-shinden to view the cherry blossoms, about which he later composed several haiku."1

1 Native and Newcomer: Making and Remaking a Japanese City, Jennifer Robertson, University of California Press, 1991, p. 176-177.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Official Opening of Sumida River Cherry Blossom Sightseeing
 Artist Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912)
楊洲周延筆 Yōshū Chikanobu hitsu
 Seal none
 Publication Date
届 明治十六年五月三日
notification delivered May 3, 1883  (明16)
Tsujiokaya Bunsuke 辻岡文助 (firm name Kinshōdō)
Right half:  出版人 辻岡文助 shuppanjin Tsujioka Bunsuke.
    right column shows publisher's address  

Left half: 画工 橋本直義 gakō (artist) Hashimoto Naoyoshi (Chikanobu's family name.)
    right column shows artist's address.
[Marks: pub. ref. 548; seal not shown]

彫工弥 carver Hori Yata (Watanabe Yatarō)
 Impression fair 
 Colors excellent - likely oxidation of pigment used for phoenix head on front of boat
 Condition good – three sheets joined together; remnants of paste where sheets are joined; small area of repair visible verso
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 14 1/8 x 28 1/2 in. (35.9 x 72.4 cm) entire triptych
 H x W Image 14 1/16 x 28 in. (35.7 x 71.1 cm)
 Collections This Print
last revision:
2/27/2020 created