Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Title: Bridges at the Mouth of the Aji River Tenpözan, Settsu Province
Date: c. 1833 - 1834
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In 1831 (the third year of Tempo), the Aji River, which flowed through Osaka into Osaka Bay, was dredged. The riverbed soil was used to build the artificial Tempozan Hill at the south of the river's mouth. Planted with pine, oak, willow, and cherry trees, and equipped with stores and restaurants, the hill became a kind of pleasure park. Soon one of Osaka's newest and most renowned sites, it was widely reported among avid novelty seekers as the last word in indulgence. In this print, Hokusai did not focus on this small bridge, but represents the entire hill, with its ascending road, beautiful plantings, and people. Hokusai inscribed it ""Copied by request from an Osaka picture."" Apparently he had not actually seen the Tempo Hill, although he might have been in Osaka years earlier. He must have made the print from a sketch of the new hill done by someone on the scene. (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, “Hokusai and Hiroshige”, 1998)