“Enoshima Island” as the Major Scenic Theme of Ukiyo-e
Except Mt. Fuji, the number of ukiyo-e prints created based on the image of Enoshima Island hit the highest rate among the other sceneries appeared in ukiyo-e prints. This number of ukiyo-e explains the extreme popularity of the pilgrimage to Enoshima Island during Edo period.
Enoshima Island is the tied island that connects Shonan Beach by sandbar, and the existence of “Iwaya”, the sea cave created naturally by the erosion of the waves, made this cave a religious site for ascetic practice, attracted many notable ascetics from the ancient time. During Kamakura period, by the first Shogun (General) Minamoto no Yoritomo’s prayer, Buddhist Monk Mongaku prayed for the coming of Benzai-ten at Enoshima Island. Thus this place attracted many worshippers of Benzai-ten while the beautiful scenic view also attracted many tourists. The Enoshima Island in ukiyo-e pictures was originally illustrated with the reminiscent image of the holy Mt. Horai that appears in Chinese Taoism accompanying with the images of Mt. Fuji and sunrise beside it. However, in the later period, the tourists who visited Enoshima for pilgrimage were focused as the ukiyo-e subject.