Hodogaya: Shinmachi Bridge
Utagawa Hiroshige ( Japanese, 1797 - 1858 )
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.
Anna McFarland, Ichiryusai Hiroshige: The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido, Label text, 1986.