Evening Snow at Asakusa

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About the Art

Evening Snow at Asakusa is part of the series Eight Views of Edo, by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). This particular design was for an uchiwa-e, or rigid fan print, which people would buy, cut out and paste onto their fans as decoration.

The huge paper lantern partially visible at the top of the image is from the Kaminarimon, or "Thunder Gate" at the entrance to the Asakusa Kannon Temple. Officially known as the Kinryuzan Sensoji, this was and still remains Edo/Tokyo's oldest and most-prominent Buddhist site.

The central building is the Niomon or "Gate of the Two Guardian Kings". To the right stands a five-storey pagoda, while the temple’s main compound is behind them and hidden from view.

The 'Eight Views' formula was a popular one, inspired by Chinese series of paintings which portayed the Xiao and Xiang rivers. It was originally used in Japan in the form of poetic references to eight beautiful vistas around Lake Biwa - Japan's largest lake. See our collection - 8 Views of Omi by Hiroshige - for more.