Ujibashi ajiro-zu 宇治橋網代図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A visual motif in the *yamato-e やまと絵 tradition, depicting the landscape of the Uji 宇治 river and its bridge. Famous for its wickerwork fishing traps ajiro 網代 which provided hiuo 氷魚, a kind of trout, for the imperial table. According to both A Summary of Palace Secrets KINPISHOU 禁秘抄 (c. 1221) and A Collection of Things Heard, Ancient and Modern KOKIN CHOMONJUU 古今著聞集 (1254), the wickerwork was depicted on the back of the northern side of the "Rough Ocean" sliding door paintings *Araumi-no-shouji 荒海障子 in the emperor's principal residence, the Seiryouden 清涼殿 of Kyoto Gosho 京都御所. Throughout the Heian and Kamakura periods it was a popular theme in *meisho-e 名所絵 and can be seen on the door paintings of Byoudouin *Hououdou 平等院鳳凰堂 (1053) in Uji itself. In the Muromachi period it appears in the fifth scroll of The Illustrated Scrolls of the Founding of Ishiyamadera, Ishiyamadera engi emaki 石山寺縁起絵巻 and the second scroll of the Ashibiki emaki 足曳絵巻. The motif was incorporated as an element of screens depicting, willows-over-a-bridge-with-a-waterwheel, ryuukyou mizu-guruma-zu 柳橋水車図 popular in the Momoyama period, and finally found its way into the decorative arts. In the Edo period the Uji bridge appears in Kusumi Morikage's 久隅守景 Screen of The Kamo Festival Horse Races and Uji Bridge, Kamo no Keiba Ujibashi-zu 賀茂競馬・宇治橋図; Ookura shuukokan 大倉集古館, Tokyo.


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