ON THE ROAD TO EDO

The exposition 'On the Road to Edo' showed 31 Japanese prints and 2 panoramas in Centre Ceramique, Avenue Ceramique 50, Maastricht, Netherlands from May 19 to June 25, 2000.
Subjects were:
A. The Kameido Park in Edo
B. Panoramas of Edo (by Hokusai) and Maastricht (by Jo Zeguers)
C. Views of the environments of Edo (Tokyo) by Hiroshige
D. Large flowers by Hokusai
E. The Tokaido (a road from Edo to Kyoto) by Hiroshige.

A. Many Japanese woodblock artists pictured the Kameido park.
The next woodcut by Hiroshige made it famous.


Ando Hiroshige, Kameido 1856-8

Monet used it as an inspiration for a Japanese garden and bridge. Many years he painted the garden, bridge, wisteria and water lilies.

Twentieth century shin hanga artists stayed close to reality. See the following example.


Toshi Yoshida, Half Moon Bridge 1941

B. Hokusai designed a panorama of Edo in 1806. It shows Edo at both banks of the Sumida. The woodcuts were published in three booklets. Colourful copies with a length of 12 meter were shown at the entrance of the Centre.


C. Views of the environments of Edo by Hiroshige. Prints show the rural environment of Edo. Nowadays these are parts of busy Tokyo. Airplanes land where geese flew.

Ando Hiroshige, Descending geese

 Lingering snow

D. Large flowers.
Katsushika Hokusai designed 'large flowers' of incredible beauty. The original woodcuts do not have great colours anymore. Authentic reproductions by the Adachi Institute for Woodcuts show how the woodcuts looked originally.


Hokusai, Irises and grasshopper              Tree-peony and butterfly 1832

E. The Tokaido by Hiroshige.
After a long period of civil wars Japan became a peaceful police state. Many people were obligated to make an annual journey to the Shogun in Edo. A main road was the Tokaido from Edo to Kyoto. Hiroshige designed woodcuts of  Edo, 53 stations and Kyoto.


Ando Hiroshige, Station 12 of the Tokaido: Mishima, 1834


Station 21: Mariko, 1834 (travelers eat yam broth)

When Japanese prints are made, co-operation, craftsmanship and respect for predecessors are highly important. That is the basis for the technical superiority to Western prints.
The prints were produced in three phases. An artist paints a water-colour in the first phase. Thereafter woodcutters make the blocks for each colour separately. At last printers produce the final result.
We enjoy their work.

 
Exhibitions of Japanese prints at the Centre Céramique
Series by Hokusai and Yoshitoshi