Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Title: The Okitsu River at Okitsu (Station # 18)
Date: c. 1833 - 1834
Details: More information...
This print depicts a humorous scene of two wrestlers being carried across the Okitsu River by their hapless porters. Wrestlers were a common sight on the Tökaidö Highway, since they traveled often between Edo (present-day Tokyo), Kyoto, and Osaka for tournaments. (from Oh Sumo! exhibition 5/7/07-) ************** The eighteenth station on the Tökaidö, Okitsu is located in modern Shizuoka Prefecture. The left side of the composition is anchored by a gigantic rock formation depicted in a traditional Chinese (or Kanö School) monochrome painting style. A humorous scene takes place in the foreground, as a group of porters and a horse struggle under the weight of two sumo wrestlers who have hired them to be carried across the river. Like many other scenes in his Tökaidö series, Hiroshige probably took this from a well-known literary source rather than actual observation, since traveling wrestlers such as the ones in this print already were described in the late 18th century travel guide Illustrated Book of Famous Places on the Tökaidö Road, by Hara Arimasa. ("The Tôkaidô Road: Connecting Japan" exhibition Nov/26/2009-Jan/24/2010)