Japanese, 1797-1858Goshiki (Five-color) Beach, Awaji Province
, September 1855
From Famous Places of the Sixty-odd Provinces
Color woodblock print
Gift of Louis W. Hill, Jr. P.75.51.674
Saturday, July 2, 2011Sunday, November 20, 2011
Louis W. Hill Gallery (239)
Situated in a volcanic zone along the Pacific deeps, the Japanese archipelago is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis, such as the disaster that struck Japan's northeast coast in March of this year. These are mountainous islands with jagged coastlines that afford breathtaking views. The small villages that historically dotted the shores were home to fishermen and their families, who made their living from the sea's bounty.
The prints in this gallery show Japan's arresting coastal terrain and the boats and nets of the fishermen who pulled their daily catch from the innumerable inlets and bays. Most are from the series Famous Places of the Sixty-odd Provinces, designed by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). These images were meant to appeal to city dwellers, to encourage them to travel. In the wake of the present calamity in Japan, they are also a reminder of nature's beauty and abundance.
In the hope that the communities affected by the recent disaster will rebuild, and the placid beauty of Japan's northeast coast will return, this exhibition is dedicated to the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
To contribute to the disaster relief, please visit the Japanese Red Cross Society.