Advent Calendar Day 1

Benten Shrine by Kuniyoshi


View of snow on Benten Hill at Kinryūzan Temple in Asakusa by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Kuniyoshi was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock printing. He is probably best known for his prints of warriors and battles of legendary heroes, but also created designs of ghosts, cats, beautiful women, actor prints and landscapes.

Variations of this print exist, with some not showing any snow on the surface of the water. The print shows snow at the Kinryūzan Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo and is from his series of Famous Places in Edo. It is also very similar in composition to a print of the same title designed by Hiroshige in 1845.

Kuniyoshi was born in Edo (modern day Tokyo) on 1 January 1798 and in 1811 he began an apprenticeship at the Utagawa school of printmakers, under the leadership of the celebrated Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825). He remained in Toyokuni’s studio until 1814 when he set up on his own and was given the artist name Kuniyoshi.

View of snow on Benten Hill at Kinryūzan Temple in Asakusa
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861)
From his series of Famous Places in Edo

Woodblock print, 1853

Not currently on display