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Sadanobu (貞信)

Shijôbashi kawara yûsuzumi, from the series Miyako meisho no uchi
Sadanobu ga
No artist seal
Osaka Wataya Kihei Ken
(H x W)
Oban nishiki-e
17.7 x 24.5 cm
Excellent color, good condition (never backed, full margins; flattened crease; small spot in top left margin)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry: SDN28


The term meisho (lit., "place with a name": 名所), often translated as "famous places" or "celebrated locations," is commonly found in the titles of ukiyo-e prints and series, implying a place with literary and historical attributes. (A related term sometimes encountered is meishô 名勝, meaning scenic spot or beautiful place.) There were often conventional poetic associations as well, often more significant than the actual geographic or topological characteristics. Seasonal associations were also important. The meisho of traditional views were most frequently linked to the old capitals of Nara and Kyoto, whereas the popular culture of Edo used the term for more immediate public sights and locales. Osaka artists such as Sadanobu typically took their cues from the works of the Edo master Utagawa Hiroshige, in such series as Meisho Edo hyakkei (One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: 名所江戸百景). Sometimes these artists copied his views in reduced formats for distribution in Osaka and Kyoto (Kamigata); at other times, they produced original designs in the style of Hiroshige, but with a distinctive Kamigata flavor.

Fûkei-ga (landscape prints: 風景画) by Kamigata artists constitute an extremely small percentage of kamigata-e, especially when compared to the vast production of landscapes by Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, and other Edo artists.


The two red cartouches at the upper right contain the series title Miyako meisho no uchi (Series of famous views of the capital [Kyoto]: 都名所之内) and print title Shijôbashi kawara yûsuzumi (Evening cool along the riverbed at Shijô Bridge). In the middle distance one can see scores of people enjoying the cool of early evening along a strip of dry river bed near the Shijôbashi (Shijô Bridge). Just beyond them, on the other side of the river, townspeople can be seen walking near various retail shops. At the far right crowds cross over the bridge, while in the left foreground three bijin (beauties: 美人) under a canopy with red lanterns entertain themselves by "people-watching."

As an aside, the famed Minami-za kabuki theater, then as now, is at the far side of the Shijô Bridge.

This example of Sadanobu's original design features a strong, clear impression with exceptionally wide margins.

References: SDK, p. 91, no. 177