One of the joys of working with
Japanese prints is not only the aesthetics, but also the mystery. As Rod
Stewart said: "Every picture tells a story, don't it?" And sure enough this
is true to the 'nth' degree when it comes to Ukiyo-e.
first purchased this print I wondered about the structure spanning the Kanda
River. I didn't know that it was the Kanda at that point and certainly
didn't know that it was a man made channel. Tokugawa Ieyasu chose the
small fishing village of Edo to be the shogunal capitol. Although he
never lived there he was fully aware of the structural changes which would
be needed to make this a great center. A channel here, a drainage system
there --- all of this laid the groundwork for metropolitan Tokyo as we know
city planners special attention had to made to supply an ever growing
population with fresh water. Hence the structure above, an aqueduct, brought
a particularly distinctive water source to this part of the community. In
fact, the entire district came to be named after this especially delicious
and pure agua: Ochanomizu or tea water.