Kunisada III: Steam train at ShinagawaKunisada III: Steam train at Shinagawa
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Utagawa Kunisada III (= Kunimasa IV) (1848-1920)

A steam locomotive train at the coast of Shinagawa, Tokyo, at cherry blossom time in spring. A delightful view from Japan’s first railway, opened in 1872 and leading from Shimbashi to Yokohama.

Title: Shinagawa jôkisha (A steam train at Shinagawa)

Series: Tôkyô kaika meikei kurabe (Famous places in modern Tokyo)

Signature: Baidô Kunimasa hitsu

Publisher: Tsujibun (Tsujiokaya Bunsuke, Kinshôdô), Tokio

Date: 9/1874

Size: Vertical Oban, 34,4 x 22,5 cm (image size)

Excellent, crisp impression in perfect colours. Full margins, unbacked. Margins a little soiled and creased. A diagonal fold, nearly invisible and smoothed. Verso one bottom corner a little stained. Overall excellent condition. Rare image from a seldom seen series of views of early modern Tokyo.

Lovely example of a “Bunmei Kaika” print (“civilization and enlightenment”) from the early Meiji period, when, after its opening, Japan strived for quick modernization and westernization.