Hiroshige and Japan art: Cherry blossoms and nature
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) and other esteemed ukiyo-e artists inspired many impressionists hailing from Europe and North America. This includes Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Utamaro, and several others.
Hiroshige’s world of tradition in the early nineteenth century would alter dramatically during the late stages of the Edo Period. Hence, changing artistic practices within traditional art forms (rinpa to ukiyo-e) were beginning to emerge in this dynamic period of Japanese history.
MFA Boston (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) says, “One of the most popular spots in Edo for cherry-blossom viewing was Asuka Hill, where in good weather visitors could see not only the blossoms, but the scenic cone of Mount Fuji rising in the far background.”
In the art piece below, people are enjoying the many areas of Asuka Hill. Hence, one can imagine people from all classes and occupations, enjoying each cherry blossom season – with the view of Mount Fuji at its stunning best.
Hiroshige brings to life magical landscapes and enchanting views connected to the potent psyche of cherry blossoms. The natural beauty alone is awe-inspiring. However, the bigger picture connects Japanese people to the past, personal individual memories, coming of age, friendship, and knowing that each fleeting year should be cherished just like life.
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