Nihonbashi: Morning Scene
Utagawa Hiroshige ( Japanese, 1797 - 1858 )
Nihonbashi, the 'Bridge of Japan', was the center not only of Edo (present day Tōkyō ) but also Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). All major highways converged at Nihonbashi and all distances were measured from it. The bridge was the starting point of the approximately 300-mile journey from Edo to Kyōto on the Tōkaidō (Eastern Sea Route). In this first scene, a group of fish vendors makes way for the front ranks of a daimyō 's (feudal lord) procession starting its journey in the early morning hours.
Anna McFarland, Ichiryusai Hiroshige: The Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido, Label text, 1986.
The above DMA print belongs to the first edition. When the series took off, sole rights to the series were bought by Hōeidō and the first print was recut to look like this: 1984.202.56