Tôkyo (東居 or 東挙), 1828-1869, was a gô (art name: 號) used by Umegawa Tôkyo (梅川東居 or 東挙). He lived and worked in Kyoto, producing nihonga (Japanese-style painting: 日本画) as well as landscape and figure prints in the ukiyo-e style. His paintings show the influence of the Maruyama school. Tôkyo's students included Nomura Bunkyo (野村文挙, 1854-1911) and Imao Keinen (今尾景年, 1845-1924).
Rakusai is the western province of Kyoto where Arashiyama (Storm Mountain: 嵐山) crosses the Ôi River, a nationally designated historic site (shiseki: 史跡) and place of scenic beauty (meishô: 名勝).
Here we see boatmen working along the Ôi-gawa; one in the foreground is moving logs, while the other navigates a small pleasure or sightseeing boat. It is a beautiful spring day with abundant flowering of cherry blossoms marking the season. A dramatic rendering of trees angling over the river introduces an effective depth of field and a strong counterpoise to the more upright forms of the bridge struts, making this design more than a simple view of a charming scene.
Although examples from the series Miyako hyakkei (100 views of the Capital: 都百景) can be found in a few institutional collections, opportunities for acquisition are relatively rare.
References: Roberts, A Dictionary of Japanese Artists, p. 181; Mitchell, Illustrated Books of the Nanga, Maruyama, Shijô, and Other Related Schools of Japan, p. 190.