was a wonderful Japanese artist and master that devoted his
life to the creation of beautiful paintings, as well as
teaching students the Ukiyo-e style.
Over the course of his career, Hiroshige produced
many fascinating pieces.
His work was detailed, colorful, and refreshing.
In fact, while many Japanese artists were ranked
among the best, Hiroshige’s work was indeed some of the
most incredible of its time.
One such creation of Hiroshige was called “69
Stations of Kisokaido”.
Hiroshige’s father was a firefighter who had the
responsibility along with 32 other men to keep fire in the
Edo Castle at bay. Originally
born as Ando Tokutaro in Edo, which is the current day’s
Tokyo, Hiroshige lost both of his parents by the age of 12.
However, having shown serious talent in painting at a
very young age, he was accepted into the famous Utagawa
School in 1811 at the age of 14.
Studying under the master Toyohiro Utagawa, he soon
was allowed to change his name to Utagawa, which became his
name – Utagawa Hiroshige.
However, if you were to conduct research on this
Japanese artist or try to find prints of his work, you would
likely need to look under the name of Hiroshige Ando as
well. Keep in
mind that his early work consisted primarily of illustrated
books, his first book being published in 1818.
Hiroshige used traditional style of painting,
consisting of kabuki actors, warriors, and of course,
beautiful women. However,
by 1830, Hiroshige began to expand his style interest.
As his skill continued to develop and with a keen eye
Hiroshige began to expand his work to landscape scenes.
While he had incredible success with this genre, one
of his greatest masterpieces was called “Tokaido
Gojusan-Tsungi No Uchi”, which took him a year to
Americanized names for this particular piece include “From
the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido” and
“Fifty-Three Stages of the Tokaido”.
No matter what it was called, the painting of this
coastal highway linking Kyoto and Edo was nothing less than
Another of his paintings known as “Sixty-Nine
Stations of Kisokaido” captured the turnpike like stations
where people were required to pay a toll.
Each station was designed with a lodge for travelers
and a restaurant where simple meals could be enjoyed.
His work on the Tokaido stations was so spectacular
that even with his great success in other artistic genres,
these were what brought him great fame and fortune.
Realizing the security and joy this type of work
brought him, Hiroshige focused his attention in this area of
landscape for the next 20 years.
Some of the other beautiful pieces created by
Hiroshige included “Tokaido Gojusan-Tsugi”, which was
comprised of 56 prints in chuban size, Tokaido, 55 prints in
oban size, Gojusan-Tsugi Meisho-Zue, also 55 prints in oban
size, and So-Hitsu Gojusan-Tsugi, consisting of 55 vertical
prints in oban size.