Ohashi (literally meaning Large Bridge) is waht is now Shin (new) Ohashi, so named as it was built when Ryougoku Bridge used to be known as Ohashi. Its original location, however, was about 100 meters downstream, connecting Hamacho Ayame-gashi in Nihombashi and Rokkenbori-cho in Fukagawa. The area around the place on Fukagawa side was known as Atake, where there were many large and smll boathouses including one for the official boat of the Bakufu (central feudal government), Atake-maru.
Hiroshige here pictured a sight of summer shower over Ohashi and the Atake area seen across it. The vertically long panel emphasizes speed of heavy rainfall. The boathouses and other houses of Atake on the opposite bank, looming in fog in silhouette, also leave us with an impression of dense precipitation. The oblique line of the opposite bank and that of the bridge border the spacious water surface in a triangular frame at the centre, representing remarkably well the bulk of water of the swollen stream. The slight bokashi (shading) of blue at the left end of the bridge is also well expressive of the effect of far and near. The raft a stream serves as a clever compositional focus. The firm composition in which all elements are functional, and the effect of reality felt from the shower, have won appreciation of many connoisseurs who rank it at the top of the series. It is widely known that Van Goth, attracted this print, copied it in oil colours in his distinctive touches of the brush.
There exists another version of this design which has a small boat added in faint gray at the narrowed part of the triangular water surface. Opinions differ about which is the earlier. Whichever may be the first impression, this one without additional boat is more attractive for its ampler effect of space.
All printing are done by hand, using the traditional woodblock process. The printing stage is both time-consuming and extremely delicate, because each colour in the print must be printed from its own block. The printer must align the print perfectly through several stages of the printing process. All prints are produced on handmade Japanese Kozo (paper mulberry) paper. Inks are made from natural dyes. All of the material used are traditional Ukiyo-e.
Through careful research, the use of traditional techniques and materials, and the highest standards of craftsmanship, the artist are able to reproduce original Ukiyo-e with the highest level of accuracy.
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