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Archive: Sadanobu (貞信)

Kappajima yori higashi onozomu ("East View from Kappajima": 合羽嶋より東を望お) from the series Naniwa hyakkei no uchi (Set of 100 Views of Osaka: 廣田社雪景)
Sadanobu sha (貞信冩)
No artist seal
Wataki (Wataya Kihei, 綿屋喜兵衞)
Circa 1869-70
(H x W)
Chûban nishiki-e
17.5 x 24.0 cm
Excellent color; good condition (unbacked; light centerfold; tiny wormhole in sky near center; paper flaw in sky upper left; light soil on storehouse window; marks in upper margin)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry: SDN12


There has been some debate over whether to judge Sadanobu's efforts in this and related series as mere copying of Hiroshige or as a reworking of his imagery and style to reflect Sadanobu's intimate knowledge of the Kamigata region. Without denying the debt owed to the Edo master, the scholar Matsudaira Susumu believed that other influences included ehon meisho (illustrated books of famous places: 絵本名所) by such Kamigata artists as Takehara Shunchôsai (竹原松朝齋) whose designs often featured written commentaries and a contemplative style similar to many Sadanobu fûkeiga (landscape prints: 風景画). Matsudaira also argued that small-format prints such as the chûban sheets in this series (and especially the even smaller koban and mameban formats in other series) required special skills not only to draw effective scenic views but also to carve and print the designs.*


Kappajima was the west-end district of Dojima where the Shijimigawa Canal and Dojima River connect. During the Edo period, the area was filled with Kurayashiki (city storehouses owned by feudal lords) and residences. However, by 1924, the canal was covered and modern building began to appear.

The original wrapper for this series had a more complete title: Naniwa hyakkei meisho shashin kagami (A Mirror of 100 Famous Views of Osaka — Truthfully Copied: 浪花百景名所写真鏡); a picturesque small-format scene in the manner of Utagawa Hiroshige, depicting feudal residences and storehouses in the west end of Dojima where the Shijimi River Canal and the Dojima River converge, with the Tamae Bridge in the distance; the series was never completed ― approximately 63 designs known.

References: HSH, no. 181 (series)*