Hodogaya: Shinmachi Bridge


Utagawa Hiroshige ( Japanese, 1797 - 1858 )

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General Description

Among the travelers crossing the Shinmachi Bridge to Hodogaya in this peaceful rural scene is a komusō, a mendicant monk of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism, identifiable by the braided hat which covers his entire head. During the Edo period (1603-1868), komusō roamed the countryside playing the shakuhachi, a long vertical flute, and begging for alms.

Excerpt from

Anna McFarland, Ichiryusai Hiroshige: The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido, Label text, 1986.