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[The Dam] on the Otonashigawa at Ōji (No. 36) from the series Thirty-Six Views of Tokyo

Shōsai Ikkei (fl. c. 1870s)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

[The Dam] on the Otonashigawa at Ōji (No. 36) from the series Thirty-Six Views of Tokyo

by Shōsai Ikkei, 1871

No. 2 Not Aware Man and Aware Man from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

IHL Cat. #1532

About This Print

In 1857 the same publisher, Tsutaya Kichizō, issued Utagawa Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei), which contained the print Dam on the Otonashi River at Oji Popularly Known as the 'Great Waterfall' (Oji Otonashi-gawa entai sezoku Otaki to tonau), shown below.  Fourteen years later he published Ikkei's Thirty-Six Views of Tokyo (the re-named Edo) whose last print in the series gives us an almost identical view of the waterfall on the Otonashi caused by the dam.   

In commenting on the Hiroshige print the Brooklyn Museum notes: "This dam was built in 1657 to control the stretch of the Shakujii River known as the Otonashi and to divert part of the flow into irrigation canals leading through fertile rice paddies. This stretch of the river is one of several place names in the Ōji area that were borrowed from the Kumano region to the west of Edo in the Kii Peninsula, in deference to the dedication of Ōji Gongen Shrine to the gods of Kumano. Ōji Gongen Shrine still stands on the bluff across the Otonashi River from Asukayama, or just to the right of the point where Hiroshige has placed us in this view."

"By the 1960's the Otonashi River had been reduced to a concrete channel, but in 1985 a three year construction plan was begun to revive and beautify the 100 meter length of the river seen in this view and will be filled with rocks, bounded by strolling paths, pavilions and cherry trees."

Cherry trees along the Shakujii today

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description [The Dam] on the Otonashigawa at Ōji (No. 36)
 王子音無川 三十六 ŌjiOtonashigawa sanjūroku
 Series Thirty-Six Views of Tokyo
 東京三十六景 Tōkyō sanjūrokukei  
 Artist Shōsai Ikkei (fl. 1860-late 1870s)
昇齋筆  Shōsai hitsu
 Seal no artist's seal
 Publication Date
May 1871
未五改  combined date-aratame censorseal
ram 5 aratame
蔦屋吉蔵 Tsutaya Kichizō [Marks: 556; seal 25-427]
seal reading 蔦吉板 Tsutakichihan
 Impression good
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - multiple small holes throughout
 Genre ukiyo-e; meisho-e
三十六 print number in the series shown on lower right margin
 Format chūban 
 H x W Paper 
 6 15/16 x 9 1/2 in. (17.6 x 24.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Tokyo Metropolitan Library 0521-K4-2