Oct 18, 2012

49景 赤坂桐畑雨中夕けい View 49 Evening Rain in the Paulownia Garden at Akasaka


This is Akasaka.  It's a rainy evening and people are hurrying home.
I get a little lonely when I look at this print.


But Akasaka night today?


It's fun! \(^o^)/


The pond we see in Hiroshige's print is Tameike.  It was a narrow gourd-shaped pond that stretched from Akasaka Mitsuke to Toranomon.
In the Meiji period, it was filled and became this street (a part of Sotobori Dori.)

I couldn't believe that this big street once was the pond. 
But when you look at it, it sure is winding, like Tameike in the Edo map.


In the print, people are walking up the distant hill.
On top of the hill was the Akasaka gate, which was also called Akasaka Mitsuke.
(Mitsuke means a watch-house at a gate.)


There still is the remains of the gate.

A picture on the guide board shows us how the gate looked in the early Meiji Period.

This slope is where the people in Hiroshige's print are going up.
Inside the gate on the left were the secondary residences of Lord Kii and Ii. 

Ii's house is now
the Hotel New Otani.

Kii's house is now
the Akasaka New Prince Hotel.


This beautiful building was designed by a famous architect Tange Kenzo. 
But sadly, it closed out of business in March 2011.
Now they are taking it down, very quietly.
Below is the picture I took in November 2010.  
Bye, bye, Aka-Puri! (T_T)/~~~

Well, back to Hiroshige.  How does the place look now?


It looks so different!
But I'm glad I could capture the vanishing Akasaka Prince Hotel in this photo, and wonder how this place will look in, say, ten years from now.

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ


Tall Gary said...

At first I was puzzled at this print not being included in my book of the series. Then I found the following at Wiki: “Work by Hiroshige II; not always included in collections of One Hundred Famous Views of Edo; variously thought to be replacement print for no. 52, The Paulownia Garden at Akasaka, or a work on commission by Sakanaya Eikichi, celebrating Hiroshige II's adoption of his name and Hiroshige's seal.”

I could find the ruins of Akasaka Gate via Google Maps Street View. The stones continue off to the right and around the corner a little south east of “Aka-Puri.” But then they halt at the entrance to a subway.

WeST PArK CaFE is on the 2nd floor of Akasaka Tokyu Plaza in your 4th photo from the top.

Although Hiroshige II’s forest of trees and grasses has been replaced by a forest of concrete and asphalt we can be relieved that there is still some greenery in the scene.

Thank you for showing us photos of Aka-Puri. I will be sad, too, to see it go. Perhaps it will be replaced with a replication of the Kii and/or Ii residences...

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
You are right. This is the work of Hiroshige Ⅱ, who married to Hiroshige's adopted daughter. It is said that View 12 (Ueno Yamashita) and View 115 (Bikuni-hashi in the Snow) are also done by Hiroshige Ⅱ. But I just skipped that part.(^^)

Still the number is confusing, isn't it? As far as I know, there are seven different collections of this series. The book I have is「小学館 広重 名所江戸百景」which is is based on Iwasaki collection. I read Henry D.Smith book is based on the collection of the Brooklyn Museum. So, the number is different.

By the way, I ordered Henry D. Smith book via Web Kinokuniya! \(^o^)/  But it might take two months because it is coming by ship from US.

Tall Gary said...

Seven different versions! No wonder I get confused at the numbering.

I think you will like the Henry D. Smith, Brooklyn Museum version. It is quite large and heavy. If you bring it along with you on your research excursions you might need something like this. But you already have a version that you like to bring with you.

I was looking at this site today and noticed that to the far right there are a few prints with map coordinates that you can click on and eventually see where certain views are located today. On the right, after the first click, there are Japanese map sites including Mapion (second click).

This is also somewhat interesting.

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
I have been reading on the internet about this subject quite a lot, but never came across Morikawa Kazuo. It is very interesting! Thank you. (You are so fluent in Japanese!)

The Shogakukan Book is also very big and heavy. When I go, I'm taking with me 「人文社 江戸切絵図で歩く 広重の大江戸名所百景散歩」. It has Edo map and today's map.

Anonymous said...

This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks Cavalieri.

Merry Witch said...

Thank you very much for your comment! I'm not good at using computer very much, but I'll try to add some video if I can.(^_^)v

Tall Gary said...

While looking for something else I found this 1890s photo taken not far from where, today, a pedestrian crossing goes over 246, a little west of your stone remnants of the gate. Benkei Moat is on the right, Ōyama Highway straight ahead, and the outer moat, now filled in, on the left. Of course the photo was hand colored. There are a couple “before” and “after” photos one can click on in the comments.

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
That photo is so beautiful! I loved the cherry blossoms along the street.

I smiled when I saw the "after " photo. A lot of people are doing similar things, aren't they?

You are very good at finding interesting things. Thank you!

Tall Gary said...

It is entirely my pleasure Madame M.W.

The clarity of the old salt prints and the beauty of the hand coloring makes it hard to believe sometimes that such photos are more than a hundred years old now. Anyway, they can be a joy to behold.

If you haven’t checked it out yet there is a link on the right in the above Akasaka-cherry-blossoms image titled SALT PRINTS of OLD JAPAN. Or just click here, if you wish.

Merry Witch said...

I enjoyed those photos.
I didn't know anything about salt prints, but those photos are beautiful, and also very interesting. Their lives must have been close to Hiroshige's.