東海道五十三次・庄野 白雨 Sudden Shower at Shōno, from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō
Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo))
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Image: 9 3/4 x 14 1/4 in. (24.8 x 36.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
One of the best-known scenes from this series, Sudden Shower at Shōno demonstrates Hiroshige's genius at capturing the sensation of a violent rainstorm. Palanquin bearers and villagers dash through the storm, and sheets of rain are represented with distinct slanted lines. Shōno had no view to match the scenery shown here, and it appears that the design was purely imaginary.
The umbrella at the lower right bears two inscriptions: "Takenouchi" is the family name of the publisher of this Tōkaidō series, and "Gojūsan-tsugi" (meaning "fifty-three stations") is part of the title. Utagawa Hiroshige, one of Japan's foremost landscapists, designed two extremely popular series: Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
Signature: Hiroshige ga
Marking: Seal: Hoeidō, a gourd-shaped red seal for subtitle: Hakuu (Sudden Shower)