Utagawa Hiroshige III

Utagawa Hiroshige III 三代 歌川広重 (1842-1894) 

BIOGRAPHY

Sources: The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing Company, 2005, p. 504; Picturing Westernization and Modernization: A Woodblock Print Collection from Late 19th Century Japan, Izumi Koide, June 16, 2006, a paper delivered at the WORLD LIBRARY AND INFORMATION CONGRESS: 72ND IFLA GENERAL CONFERENCE AND COUNCIL 20-24 August 2006, Seoul, Korea https://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/papers/085-Koide-en.pdf [accessed 12-25-23] and as otherwise footnoted.

Other names used:  Gotō Torakichi 後藤 寅吉, Tokubei 徳兵衛, Torakichi 寅吉, Isshōsai 一笑斎, Shigemasa 重政, Shigetora 重寅, Ichiryūsai 一立斎, Ryūsai 立斎

Family name: Andō Tokubei 安藤 徳兵衛 (安藤徳兵エ)

Note: Hiroshige is also written 廣重, as it appears in most of the artist's signatures.


The son of a shipbuilder in Edo’s Fukagawa district, later adopted by a restaurant owner named Ryotei, he became a student of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) in his mid-teens. With his master’s death in 1858 he studied with Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869), who was married to Hiroshige’s daughter, Otatsu. Reportedly his first work was the illustration of the ninth volume of the ehon (picture book) Edo miyage (Picture-book of Edo Souvenirs, 1864). With the dissolution of the Hiroshige II’s marriage and Hiroshige II's subsequent return to Yokohama in 1865, Hiroshige III married Otatsu and succeeded to the Hiroshige name. 


While none of the lyricism seen in the work of Hiroshige I is detected in his prints, he created quite interesting prints depicting the new port city of Yokohama and Tokyo with their Western buildings, steam locomotives (such as the triptych Steam Train Along Tokyo’s Takanawa Coastline (Tokyo Takanawa kaigan joki kisha tetsudeo no zu 1871), and exotic foreigners. It is said that the artist referred to himself as "Meiji" Hiroshige.1 He designed many print series, three of the best known being Famous Views of Tokyo (Tokyo meisho no uchi, 1879), Famous Places in Tōkai: The Revised 53 Stations (Tōkai Meisho Kaisei 53 Eki, 1876) and Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (The Greater Japan Products, 1877).


While Hiroshige III may not have been a great artist, he was a popular artist, ranking among the top five in a 1880 list of ukiyo-e artists, Kokoku shoga mekia ichiran, along with Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900), Ogata Gekkô (1859-1920), Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915).2


1 The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization, Julia Meech-Pekarik, Weatherhill, 1986, p. 92.2 Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: 1839-1892, Roger Keyes, 1982, p. 51.

Many Views of Tokyo

"Meiji" Hiroshige, as the artist liked to refer to himself, created at least 10 series for various publishers that presented idealized scenic views of Tokyo.  The various series quite often presented similar views of the same scenic bridges and districts.  As an example see IHL Cat. #484 View of Yanagi Bridge from Asakusa Bridge from the series Famous Places of Tokyo and IHL Cat. #494 Edobashi from the series Tokyo fuka meisho zukushi.


Among the series of scenic views designed by Hiroshige III are True Views of Tokyo; Famous Places of Tokyo (Tokyo meisho zue); Famous Comic Views of Tokyo; Famous Places of Modern Tokyo (Tokyo kaika meisho zue no uchi); Pictures of the Famous Sights of Tokyo; A Collection of True Views of Tokyo; The Pride of Tokyo Series; Collected Pictures of Tokyo; Photographic Eight Views of Tokyo; The Famous Places of Tokyo-The Past and The Present; Pride of Tokyo: Eight Views of Famous Places (Tokyo jiman meisho hakkei); Thirty-Six Views of Tokyo Civilization.


The Series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue 大日本物産図会 (Products of Greater Japan), 1877

Consisting of 118 chuban-size prints, this series was one of Hiroshige's most popular, issued by the publisher Ōkura Magobei in August 1877 to coincide with the opening of Japan’s first National Industrial Exposition (Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) held in Tokyo’s Ueno Park.

In the series two pictures are devoted to each region, or old “kuni,” except the Iyo region, which has four pictures.


For detailed information on this series, please see the article on this site titled 

Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan).

Prints from this series can be found in the collections of: 

British Museum illustrated book registration number: 1973,0723,0.116 (partial set)

Waseda University Library Archives

National Institute of Japanese Literature

Hagi Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum 

Hunting the Giant Octopus of Namekawa in Ecchu [Etchu] province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

Etchu Province is celebrated for its giant octopi which are considered a delicacy.

Signatures and Seals of the Artist (a sampling)

There is great similarity between the signatures of Hiroshige, Hiroshige II and Hiroshige III with the most confusion arising between the signatures of Hiroshige II and Hiroshige III.  Examples of Hiroshige III's signatures follow.  For information on Hiroshige II's signatures, see Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869). 

廣重

Hiroshige

廣重画

Hiroshige ga

廣重筆

Hiroshige hitsu

廣重筆

Hiroshige hitsu

廣重画

ōju Hiroshige ga

  ōju followed by  Hiroshige (廣重) seal

Prints in Collection

[BELOW PRINTS GIFTED TO THE JORDAN SCHNITZER MUSEUM OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON]

click on thumbnail for print details

The series Nihon chishi ryakuzu

(Simple Illustrations of Places in Japan), 1876

The series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan), 1877

Bingo Province

Mat Making in Bingo Province

IHL Cat. #461 and

#1921 (crepe print)

Bingo Province

Planting Rush in Bingo Province

(crepe print)

IHL Cat. #1920

Bizen Province

Chishima Province and Hokkaido

Chishima Province and Hokkaido

Echigo Province

Echigo Province

Catching Salmon in Echigo Province

IHL Cat. #364 and #1489

Etchu Province

Hyūga Province

Hyūga Province

Iga Province

Polishing-sand of Iga Province

IHL Cat. #323 and #1428

Iga Province

Coal Mining in Iga Province

IHL Cat. #324 and #1486

Iki Province

Pulling Up a Whale in Iki Province (crepe print)

IHL Cat. #1918

Ise Province

Iwaki Province

Iwashiro Province

Iyo Province

Burdock Harvest in Iyo Province

IHL Cat. #326 and #326A

Iyo Province

Iyo Province

Izu Province

Izu Province

Kaga Province

Kaga Province

Sedge Hat Making in Kaga Province

IHL Cat. #462 and #1502

Kii Province

Mandarin Orange Plantation in Kii Province

IHL Cat. #540 and

#1919 (crepe print)

Mikawa Province

Noto Province

Noto Province

Sanuki Province

Sanuki Province

Settsu Province

Sake Brewing at Itami in Settsu Province (crepe print)

IHL Cat. #1907

Settsu Province

Shipping New Brew Sake in Settsu Province (crepe print)

IHL Cat. #1945

Suruga Province

Tajima Province

Tango Province

Tosa Province

Wakasa Province

Wakasa Province

Yamashiro Province