Fishing Boats with Nets under Ryōgoku Bridge

Kitagawa Utamaro Japanese

Not on view

Boats carrying beautiful women and fishermen nearly collide on the Sumida River near Ryōgoku Bridge, a famous summer locale. The three fishermen wearing straw skirts in the foreground are a parody of the three protagonists of the foundation story of the Asakusa temple. After two brothers caught a sculpture of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Kannon) in their net, they and the village leader who built the first temple to house the statue were worshipped as manifestations of the deity in the three shrines of Asakusa, and an annual festival in their honor has continued to the present day.

Fishing Boats with Nets under Ryōgoku Bridge, Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806), Triptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper, Japan

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