Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Title: Sumiyoshi Festival, Tsukuda Island
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Tsukuda Island, a 6,000 square foot manmade island, has a long history as well as its own guardian god. Fishermen working for Japan's shogun reclaimed the island from the sea in the early 17th century, when Edo (modern Tokyo) was just a small beach town. They brought the sea god from Sumiyoshi, near Osaka, and built a shrine for the god on the Tsukuda Island in July 1646. This print illustrates the annual festival commemorating the creation of the shrine. The float seen behind the festival banner represents the god's coming ashore from the sea. Since the procession actually took place on the beach--beginning at the shoals and ending at the shrine--the festival attendants could enjoy the cool sea breeze as well as the colorful ceremony.