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December 16, 2017

Hiroshige, “Hara, From-Fifty Three Stations of the Tokaido

Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), Hara, from Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido (Gyosho Edition), 1841-1844, woodcut, 7 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.

This piece is from the MOA's collection of Japanese woodblock prints. The village of Hara was considered one of the best vantage points for magnificent views of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. Hiroshige emphasizes the mountain’s immense scale (over 12,000 ft. high) by projecting its summit above the border of the picture. A volcanic mountain, Mt. Fuji last erupted on December 16, 1707, which altered the profile of the peak and reigned ash and soot for hundreds of miles. Nothing of the volcano’s latent power disturbs this harmonious panorama of travelers, trees, the river, and rough foothills in this scenic region of Japan.