Light rain at Shono art woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige

'Shono, the evening squall from "Fifty-three stages on Tokaido" series

One of the most famous artworks of Utagawa Hiroshige

The print is one of the most popular artworks in “Fifty-three Stages on Tokaido” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) as well as Kambara, the snow in the night

The themes of Kambara, the snow in night are snow, silence, and winter. On the other hand, the world of Shono, the evening squall is rain, uproar, and summer.

The silhouette of the bamboo trees on the background has a gradation and lean to left-side. That shows the strength of rain and wind.

Hiroshige drew the lines of the shower from the upper right of the screen askew. And the steep slope crosses the lines at right angles. We can see the roofs of the houses on the under right in small size. It shows that the road is higher than the ground to some degree.

Shono was the stage town in Ise domain (today’s Mie Prefecture). At that time, the town located deep in the mountains and the travelers had to walk steep mountain path o Tokaido.

The people who climb up desperately are the palanquin bearers and down nearly fall are the traveler and farmer. 

Though the “Shono” and “Kambara” are the contrastive pictures, it is common that the people show their back. Hiroshige was good at the expression method that makes who looks feel melancholy from them.

Reprint of Light Rain at Shono

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