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Kisokaido: Ageo - Station 05

 Keizai Eisen - Series of the 69 stations of the Kisokaido: Ageo (6th print) - Ageo station, Kamo Shrine (Ageo shuku Kamo yashiro)
(Edition done in 1950's by Kyoto Hanga-in under the supervision of Narazaki Muneshige, the most faithful to the first edition)

Ageo is located at 9ri 16 cho or 37km/25mi from Nihonbashi. Here the road is flat and straight, crossing the Kanto plain. This was the site of the Great Shrine of Kamo and Eisen depicts its entrance and a farmer’s house just outside (1). On the right is a row of vertical banners (2), reading from left to right Kamo Daimyojin (Great God of Kamo) or announcing the publisher’s names Takenouchi han (published by Takenouchi) and one of them even bearing a small red censor’s seal stating kiwame (approved). A mix of real banners and advertisements for the publisher.... In the foreground, a group of peasants (3) winnows rice and travellers are walking the road.

Not many changes were made as editions progressed, but the Eisen signature was removed and the banners with the publisher’s name were altered to read Iseri (for Iseya Rihei, Kinjudo) when the blocks changed hands. The banner with the seal was then left blank and the blue mountains in the left background disappeared.

(Source: The 69 stations of the Kisokaido, Sebastian Izzard, Brazillier 2008)

50 years later, rice winnowing had not changed as shown in this old picture.

Peasants and rice winnowing ca.1890


And now ?

The station and its buildings burned down in 1861 and almost nothing remains of Eisen's time: Only a torii gate at the entrance of Kamo Shrine, an old house with heavy fireproof shutters which was also used as granary and an inn dating 1861, rebuilt just after the disastrous fire. Part of the honjin's old roof have been integrated in an old wall.

Current view of the Kamo Shrine old entrance (Same view as the Eisen print)

The torii (gate) of Kamo Shrine (modern)

An inn dating 1861, rebuilt after the town fire


House built in 1836, front


House built in 1836, back. Note the fire-proof window shutters, used usually for rice granaries.

A temple in Ageo
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