Comical Edo People by Utagawa Hirokage

Planned Exhibition

 2017, January 5th~January 29th


(Will be closed on  January 10, 16, 23rd)




Laughing! Joking!! Goofing!!!  Silly Edokko Collection

Utagawa Hirokage’s representative work “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo” playfully depicts Edokko (Edo people) having fun and goofing around in the late Edo period. This exhibition is a valuable opportunity to see all 50 pieces of this series at once. Please enjoy the comical and entertaining pictures of the Edokko, which you cannot often see in the other ukiyo-e exhibitions.  



Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 9, Yushima Tenjin Shrine  ” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)  A soba noodle shop staff is bitten by a dog. One Samurai is covered with soba noodles intended for delivery.


Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 19, Mitsumata at Shin-Ōhashi Bridge ” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)  Men wearing nothing but a loincloth are jumping from a bridge. They crash into a small boat full of watermelons.


Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 46, In Front of Goshuden Gate in Hongō  (Ota Memorial Museum of Art) A sudden shower. This is the solution for three men who only had one


Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 41, Onmayagashi Embankment in Asakusa ” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art) A plaster board hits a man’s head. He tumbles and falls down straight into a box.

The First Exhibition to Explore the Details of the Mysterious Artist, Utagawa Hirokage

The only clear thing known about Utagawa Hirokage is that he was a pupil of Utagawa Hiroshige, and his true character is shrouded in mystery. In this exhibition, we will not only introduce all 50 pictures of his representative work “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo”, but also his other works such as “Great Battle of the Vegetables and the Fish” and “Thirty-six Views of Mt.Fuji From the Eastern Capital”, to find out more about this mysterious painter.



Utagawa Hirokage “Great Battle of Vegetables and Fishes” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)   
Large battle between personified troops of fishes and vegetables.


Copy? Respect? The Strange Relationship between Hokusai and Hiroshige

Several works in the series, “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo” seem to refer to the works of Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige. In this exhibition, we will also show the works of Hokusai and Hiroshige, in order to dig into the sources of Hirokage’s ideas and the influences exerted on next generations by his two great predecessors. 


Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 28, View of Gomizaka” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)                     Men must pinch their noses to avoid the overpowering smell emitted by a Samurai. Hirokage seems to have entirely copied the work of Hokusai.


Katsushika Hokusai “Picture Book, “Hokusai Manga”, Volume 12” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art) 


Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 15, Distant View at Kasumigaseki  ” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)  A unique composition portraying the Edo Bay from a hilltop, using a perspective method. Hirokage seems to have copied the composition of Hiroshige’s work. 


Utagawa Hiroshige “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo : Kasumigaseki”(Ota Memorial Museum of Art)


Highlight Work of Exhibition
Utagawa Hirokage “Comical Views of Famous Places in Edo : No. 16, Fox-fires at Ōji ” (Ota Memorial Museum of Art)


Foxes playing pretend a daimyō’s (feudal lord’s) procession. They are carrying pumpkin instead of travelling bags and holding a bamboo stick with hanging corn instead of a spear. The man sitting in a bamboo basket seems to be delighted, bewitched by the foxes to feel as if he were a feudal lord. The place is near the Ōji Inari Shrine. It was said that foxes gathered to the Shrine on New Year’s Eve, and farmers forecasted the harvest of next year depending on the numbers of foxfires they see.

Translation Supervised by Japanese Students Association of Princeton University

Adult700 yen
University and High school students500 yen
Junior High School Students and belowFree