Hiroshige (1797 - 1858), "Dam on the Otonashi River at Oji"
|Title||Dam on the Otonashi River at Oji|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Series Title||100 Views of Edo|
|Reference No||#19 in the Series|
|Size||14 -3/16 x 9 -1/4 "|
Notes: Signed: Hiroshige-ga. Date and censor seals in left margin.
A beautiful cherry blossom scene showing people swimming in the Otonashi River below the falls. This man-made "Great Waterfall" has been greatly exaggerated in height by the artist. Above, the Kinrinji Temple, where visitors rest inside a pavilion, today has been reduced to two small lots on the sites of former subtemples. By the 1960's the Otonashi River had been reduced to a concrete channel, but in 1985 a three year construction plan was begun to revive and beautify the 100 meter length of the river seen in this view and will be filled with rocks, bounded by strolling paths, pavilions and cherry trees.
This dam was built in 1657 to control the stretch of the Shakujii River known as the Otonashi and to divert part of the flow into irrigation canals leading through fertile rice paddies. This stretch of the river is one of several place names in the Ōji area that were borrowed from the Kumano region to the west of Edo in the Kii Peninsula, in deference to the dedication of Ōji Gongen Shrine to the gods of Kumano. Ōji Gongen Shrine still stands on the bluff across the Otonashi River from Asukayama, or just to the right of the point where Hiroshige has placed us in this view.