Fujieda: Changing Porters and Horses
Utagawa Hiroshige ( Japanese, 1797 - 1858 )
A the heart of each station on the Tōkaidō was the post-house, where government notices were posted and where hostlers, couriers, kago (palanquin) bearers, and packhorses waited for duty. The Tokugawa government maintained 100 packhorses and 100 porters at most of the stations to have fresh transportation readily available for official travel. In this scene, a traveler at right has emerged from his kago, and weary porters lay down their loads at the Fujieda post-house.
Anna McFarland, Ichiryusai Hiroshige: The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido, Label text, 1986.