03 Kanagawa the third station on the Tokaido.

Magnificent triptych woodblock by Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) ( 1786 -1864) of the post-town of Kanagawa, the third station on the Tokaido*. The print depicts the shogun’s procession marching through the town  with banners and Uma-jirushi * flying . … Read Full Description


S/N: SGST-003-JWB–392250
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Full Title:

03 Kanagawa the third station on the Tokaido.




In good condition.



Paper Size: 

x 358mm
03 Kanagawa the third station on the Tokaido. - Antique Print from 1865

Genuine antique



Magnificent triptych woodblock by Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) ( 1786 -1864) of the post-town of Kanagawa, the third station on the Tokaido*. The print depicts the shogun’s procession marching through the town  with banners and Uma-jirushi * flying .

Initially Kanagawa was to be one of the first ports to be opened to foreign ships. The Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa was too close to the Tokaido so port facilities were instead built across the inlet in the small fishing village of Yokohama. The Port of Yokohama was officially opened on June 2, 1859.

The views in this series depict the journey of Tokugawa Iemochi (1846-1866) the 14th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate from Edo to Kyoto on April 22, 1863 who had been summoned by the emperor. This was the first time in 230 years that a shogun had visited Kyoto. He travelled with over 3,000 retainers as an escort and with all the pomp and ceremony that was expected of a shogun. He is seen entering the town on his horse surrounded by retinue displaying the shogun’s Uma-jirushi.

A number of artists and publishers collaborated on this series .

*Tokaido literally means, the Eastern Sea Road and was the main feudal road in Japan that ran mainly along the coast for five hundred kilometers between the capital, Edo (Tokyo), where the Shogun* lived and Kyoto, where the Emperor resided. Over time, the fifty three stations became post-towns which supplied horses, porter stations, lodgings and food for travellers.

*Uma-jirushi were massive flags used in feudal Japan to identify a daimyo or shogun.

Published date/seal: 1865 (Genji 2/ Keio 1 V)

From the series, Suehiro gojusan tsugi (Fifty-Three Stations with a Folding Fan or Fan Takaido ). 

Utagawa Kunisada Toyokuni III (1786 - 1865)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (1786-1864) Toyokuni was the most popular, prolific and financially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. In his day, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi. His family owned a small licensed ferry-boat service and the income derived from this business provided a basic financial security. His father died the year after he was born. While growing up, he developed an early talent for painting and drawing. His early sketches at that time impressed Toyokuni, the great master of the Utagawa school and prominent designer of kabuki and actor-portrait prints. In the year 1800 or shortly thereafter Kunisada was accepted by Toyokuni I as an apprentice. In keeping with a tradition of Japanese master-apprentice relations, he was then given the official artist name of "Kuni-sada", the first character of which was derived from the second part of the name "Toyo-Kuni". Beginning around 1810 Kunisada used the studio name "Gototei", which refers to his father's ferry-boat business. Until 1842 this signature appeared on nearly all of his kabuki designs. Around 1825 the studio name "Kochoro" appeared, and was often used on prints not related to kabuki. This name was derived from a combination of the pseudonyms of master painter Hanabusa Itcho, and that of his successor Hanabusa Ikkei, with whom Kunisada had studied a new style of painting around 1824–1825. In 1844, he finally adopted the name of his master Toyokuni I, and for a brief time used the signature "Kunisada becoming Toyokuni II". Starting in 1844–1845, all of his prints are signed "Toyokuni", partially with the addition of other studio names as prefixes, such as "Kochoro" and "Ichiyosai". Although Kunisada referred to himself as "Toyokuni II", he must be regarded as "Toyokuni III".

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Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido ( - )

The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, was a  series of woodblock views first made famous by Utagawa Hiroshige in 1834. The Tokaido connected Edo where the shogun resided, with the then capital of Kyoto where the Emperor lived. It ran along the eastern coast of Honshu and along the road, there were 53 different post stations, which provided stables, food, and lodgings for travellers. The road ran through some of the most picturesque scenery in Japan. The series inspired generations of artists not only in Japan but in Europe.

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