Utagawa Hiroshige, 1797–1858
Maple Tree at Mama with View of Tekona Shrine and Bridge
From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 1857
Color woodblock print (nishiki-e)
Gift of Louis W. Hill, Jr. 96.146.193
Cat. no. 268

Although Mama village was outside Edo’s city limits, Hiroshige probably included it in his One Hundred Famous Views of Edo because many Edo residents went there to see the famous maple tree of Guhōji temple. The towering tree’s wide-spreading branches formed a brilliant red canopy in autumn.

Hiroshige pictured the view as if seen from high in the tree, whose branches and leaves frame the composition. Zigzagging into the distance, the tree-lined roadway to the temple gives an impression of great depth. In the middle ground, a short land bridge leads to a shrine dedicated to Tekona, a beautiful woman of legend who drowned herself because of her numerous suitors’ ceaseless squabbling.