Collections

Name Title: Chronicle of a Journey to Enoshima Fujisawa
Category
Artist
Times Edo Period
Use Kaku-ban surimono or privately issued print
Place
Comment
Artist: Totoya Hokkei

Production date: 1830-1844 (early Tempou era)
No publisher’s seal

In this picture, a scene of a teahouse at a mountain pass is illustrated. A waitress is handing something to a traveler. It looks like the man with a humorous facial expression forgets his notebook at the teahouse. The word on the notebook, “shouro-kayoi” tells the viewers that they are the buyers of shouro (a mushroom like round shape small bacteria), a local specialty of Fujisawa post station and Shounan region.

“Chronicle of a Journey to Enoshima” is a series of surimono that illustrated landscapes and products related to Enoshima Island. Surimono is high quality woodblock prints that include both kyouka poems (Comic verse composed of 31 syllables) and illustrations related to the poems. Since surimono was produced not for sale but made privately by the group of kyouka poets, the artists who produced the illustrations fully expressed their supreme talents and skills such as detailed curving techniques and high skill of the printing technique in a small format.
The indications in the several works specify that there were originally 16 works in this series. However, only 14 works, “Takanawa, the starting point”, “Samezu”, “Omori”, “Kamata”, “Rokugou”, “Tsurumi”, “Kanagawa”, “Hamagawa”, “Shimo-no-miya”, “Kami-no-miya”, “Hongu”, “Chigo-ga-buchi”, “Manaita-iwa”, and “Ryudou” are currently discovered. This series was produced for the memory of kyouka poetry circle’s journey to Enoshia Island.
The illustrations were produced by Totoya Hokkei and he was a pupil of Katsushika Hokusai. Hokkei was known for his premier talent with surimono, especially related to kyouka, and it is said his skill even surpassed that of Hokusai.