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It is a starlit evening on the Asakusa River. Hanging over the river in the foreground is the ‘Pine of Success’, a famous landmark in Edo, especially for those on their way to the Yoshiwara pleasure district. Behind the lowered blinds of the roofed pleasure boat beneath the tree, is the silhouette of a woman's head and shoulders. Two pairs of clogs rest in the bow of the boat, hinting at a tryst on board.
Officially named after its growth in a difficult place, the name of the pine tree is also a pun on ‘results’; getting one’s value for money in the Yoshiwara, perhaps on one of the pleasure boats moored here, to which passengers are going on the ferries.
In: Impey, Oliver, Hiroshige's Views of Tokyo: A Selection from the Woodblock-Print Series ‘One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo’ by Ando Hiroshige, 1797-1858 (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1993)
Glossary of terms
The Yoshiwara was the licensed pleasure district in Edo (Tokyo), where courtesans resided.
Impey, Oliver, Hiroshige's Views of Tokyo: A Selection from the Woodblock-Print Series ‘One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo’ by Ando Hiroshige, 1797-1858 (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1993), no. 11 onn p. 10, illus. p. 22 pl. 11
Pollard, Clare, Mitsuko Ito Watanabe, Landscape, Cityscape: Hiroshige Woodblock Prints in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2014), no. 29, illus. p. 105