Utagawa Hiroshige “Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido”

In the Edo period, it took people about two weeks to travel 500 kilometers from Edo (present Tokyo) to Kyoto along the Tokaido route. The ukiyo-e series “Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) depicts Nihonbashi, Kyoto, and the 53 post stations in between. For each of the stations, Hiroshige chose materials that give a sense of the season and captured the localities of each station in all of the 55 works. With the changing scenery, seasons, time and lively activity of the people, the lyrical style rooted in the climate and culture of Japan is the predominant feature of Hiroshige's ukiyo-e landscapes.
Hiroshige produced more than 20 series depicting the Tokaido in his lifetime. Among them, “Fifty-three Stations on the Tokaido” published by Hoeido in 1833 became an enduring bestseller and one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of Japanese art.