Sekino Jun’ichirō (1914-1988)
Hara: Roof-tile Reflections of Mount Fuji, No. 14 from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road (Tōkaidō gojūsan tsugi), 1964
Color woodblock print
15 3/4 x 20 5/8 inches (40 x 52.4 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Benjamin D. Bernstein, 1970
Sekino represents the inverse reflection of Mount Fuji on a tiled roof. One of the most popular sites in Japanese landscape prints, Mount Fuji is frequently depicted reflected in one of the five lakes nearby. Here, Sekino’s undulating roof tiles seem a likely visual pun on waves. The print also refers to Utagawa Hiroshige’s 1830s series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō, updating one of the sites along the Tōkaidō Road connecting Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Viewed at close proximity, the wave pattern and variations in color of the roof tiles become abstract forms. Moving further away, the imagery comes into sharper focus and takes on an almost photographic quality.