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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ten thousand years of turtle

 Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Mannen Bridge, Fukagawa (Fukagawa Mannenbashi), No. 56 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 11th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.56
(Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.56_PS1.jpg)
Have a look, little turtle: there's Mt. Fuji from up here.  Soon someone may come buy you and set you free in the canal down there, so that they can earn good karma.
This unexpected piece by Utagawa Hiroshige shows a piece of the railing of the Mannen (Ten Thousand Years) Bridge in the Fukagawa District, where turtles were sold as pets.  The long-lived creatures are longevity symbols in Chinese and Japanese lore, and well-traveled bridges were ideal places for vendors to sell them (and other water creatures).  I think this is a hopeful, lightly comic piece, opening one up to all the random good things life can bring, such as a turtle's brief hoist for a better view.

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