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Hiroshige II: Aoi Slope outside Toranomon Gate

Hiroshige II: Aoi Slope outside Toranomon Gate

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From "100 Views of Edo"

Why are two half-naked figures out on such a chilly night? It was customary for artisan apprentices to engage in kan-mairi, wintry nighttime visits to temples and shrines where they would bathe in icy water to temper their bodies and offer prayers to the gods for the refinement of their skills. These two apprentices are returning from a visit to Konpira Shrine, which lay directly behind and to the right. Like the bundled figures on Aoi Slope to the left, they carry lanterns; the lantern of the shorter apprentice bears the name of the shrine god, Konpira Daigongen. The other apprentice also holds a small bell, which he rings as they hurry bravely through the cold.

 

Artist: Hiroshige II (1826 - 1869)

Date: 1859

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