Yoshitoshi's 'Fan Tokaido' (1865)


This page attempts to catalog all known prints in Yoshitoshi's series 'Suehiro goju-san tsugi (末廣 五十三 次 - Folding-fan Fifty-Three Stages)', usually known as the 'Fan Tōkaidō'.

It dates from the start of Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about twenty-six. It thus dates from about two decades before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).

This series was actually a colloborative effort by several artists and publishers, including Yoshitoshi and Hiroshige II; of the prints in the series, 15 were the work of Yoshitoshi. The series commemorated the journey of the Shogun down the Tōkaidō from Edo to Kyōto to visit the Emperor, in the second month of 1863.

The name of this series comes from the shape of the title cartouche used in these prints, i.e. a fan. That cartouche contains the series name, and also the individual stage name; the latter is sometimes on the left, and sometimes at the bottom.

This page (and list) is not necessarily complete; the series is not well documented, and there may be yet other prints which have not yet come to our attention. If you know of any prints from this series which aren't listed here, or have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, or iii) missing information about individual prints (e.g. publisher, exact date) please let us know.

Technical details

Previous cataloguings

The only known attempts to enumerate this series was in Keyes' thesis:
	Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and
		Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Cinncinnati, 1982
where it appears as series #138.

The Prints

To see a larger, roughly full-screen, image of any print, please click on the thumbnail; these images are sized to produce reasonable detail (if we have an original that big), and are fairly compressed.

If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links). Sometimes there is more than one, if our best-quality image has issues (e.g. trimmed margins).

Thumbnail Large image Number Date Publisher Title Description
230KB #1 1865/5I Unread, possibly Fujikei Shinagawa Shinagawa is the first station on the Tōkaidō, on Tokyo Bay just south of Edo. Originally a separate village, by Yoshitoshi's day it was on the edge of Edo; it is now well within Tokyo.
234KB #2 1865/5I Unread, possibly Fujikei Hiratsuka Hiratsuka is the seventh station on the Tōkaidō, on Sagami Bay, on the other side of the Miura Peninsula from Edo. The large rounded feature in the middle of the print is Mount Koma; Mount Fuji is seen behind and to the right of it.
234KB #3 1865/5I Unread, possibly Fujikei Ōiso Ōiso is the eighth station on the Tōkaidō, just after Hiratsuka (above). At this point in time, it was an isolated seaside fishing village.
468KB #4 1865/5I Yamaguchi-ya Tōbei Odawara Odawara is the ninth station on the Tōkaidō, just after Oiso (above), at the entrance to the Hakone pass over the base of the Izu Peninsula, the most difficult part of the Tōkaidō. Odawara castle was established in 1495, and the town which grew up around it became an important cultural and commercial centre.
295KB #5 Unread, possibly 1865/5I Ki-ya Sojirō Hara Hara is the thirteenth station on the Tōkaidō, at the head of Suruga Bay, on the other side of the Izu Peninsula and Hakone Pass. It is one of the two stations closest to Mount Fuji, which looms high in the background of this image.
215KB #6 1865/5I Yamaguchi-ya Tōbei Mariko Mariko is the twentieth station on the Tōkaidō, half-way down the side of Suruga Bay.
#7 1865/5I Ki-ya Sojirō Okabe Okabe is the twenty-first station on the Tōkaidō, just after Mariko (above). Just before reaching Okabe, the Tōkaidō passes through the narrow Utsunoya Pass, one of the three most difficult parts of the Tōkaidō, where steep hills corral a swift stream just beside the trail. Yoshitoshi has chosen to illustrate the exact same scene here as Hiroshige did for this stage, in his celebrated 'Hoeido' Tōkaidō series.
298KB #8 1865/5I Yamaguchi-ya Tōbei Shimada - Dai Ōi-gawa (Shimada - The mighty Ōi River) Shimada is the twenty-fourth station on the Tōkaidō, the second station after Okabe (above). The Ōi River was one of the most powerful large rivers the Tōkaidō passed over, and was deliberately unbridged (to retard the movement of armies), necessitating travellers to ford it, as seen here. In periods of heavy rain, the river became a fierce torrent, and was officially closed to traffic when it became more than 1.4 metres deep; travellers would have to wait at the stations on either side until the water receded, or sometimes backtrack to a town to find lodging.
383KB #9 1865/5I Yamaguchi-ya Tōbei Mitsuke Mitsuke is the twenty-eighth station on the Tōkaidō, the half-way point between Edo and Kyōto; it is located near the open coastline of the Enshū Sea. Mitsuke means "place to get a view"; the name was chosen because this is the first place, travelling towards Edo, from which it is possible to see Mount Fuji. The Tenryū River outside the town is so strong and swift it was impossible to ford it, so all traffic had to use ferryboats, as here. As with the illustration of Okabe, Yoshitoshi has again chosen to echo Hiroshige's illustration of this stage in 'Hoeido' Tōkaidō series, with the ridgelines disappearing into a grey mist.
#10 1865/5I Ki-ya Sojirō Maisaka Maisaka is the thirtieth station on the Tōkaidō, and again Yoshitoshi has echoed Hiroshige's illustration of this stage in the 'Hoeido' Tōkaidō series. At Maisaka, a connection between Lake Hamana and the Pacific had formed in 1499, after an earthquake and associated tidal wave. The new opening was called Imagiri, which means "now broken". To avoid a lengthy detour around Laka Hamana, most travellers took ferries across the gap, to the next station at Arai.
#11 1865/5I Yamaguchi-ya Tōbei Goyu Goyu is the thirty-fifth station on the Tōkaidō, after it has left the coast and crossed the base of the Atsumi Peninsula. The modern road bypasses it, and as a result it is the most unchanged location on the entire Tōkaidō today.
#12 1865/5I Ebi-ya Rinnosuke Fujikawa Fujikawa is the thirty-seventh station on the Tōkaidō, at the head of one branch of the large, sprawling Mikawa Bay.
247KB #13 Unread, probably 1865/5I Ki-ya Sojirō Kuwana Kuwana is the forty-second station on the Tōkaidō, at the head of Ise Bay. Travellers usually travelled by boat from the prior station, Miya, to avoid having to cross the many large rivers which exit to the sea between the two. The thriving castle town at Kuwana was one of the largest on the entire Tōkaidō.
253KB #14 Unread, possibly 1865/5I Unread, possibly Ki-ya Sojirō Kusatsu Kusatsu is the fifty-second station on the Tōkaidō, at the south-eastern corner of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. Another major road, the Nakasendō, which ran from Edo to Kyōto through the mountains, joined the Tōkaidō here, forming a single road the rest of the way to Kyōto. This made Kusatsu one of the busiest stations on the Tōkaidō.
1056KB #15 1865/5I Morimoto Junsaburō Kyōto Kyōto is the terminus of the Tōkaidō. Travellers would descend through the Ōsaka-yama Pass, received a fine panoramic view of the city in the process, and cross the Kamo River into the city. The entire four hundred and ninety some kilometre trip would take a person walking (which is how most people travelled) at least ten days.

Back to home page

© Copyright 2009 by J. Noel Chiappa and Jason M. Levine