Cats as the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (Final Sale)

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by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

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Artist Statement

Cats as the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō was created by Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) in 1850 as a triptych. Each of the 55 cats represents a play on the names of the 53 rest areas—plus the two end points—along the Tōkaidō road, the coastal route that ran from Edo to Kyoto. Cats as the Fifty-three Stations is a silly spoof on Utagawa Hiroshige’s famous ukiyo-e series The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō, which depicted views of each of the rest areas in great detail and was the best-selling collection of woodcut prints in ukiyo-e history. The different post stations provided food and lodgings for travellers, and while Hiroshige illustrated each with their distinctive landscapes, Kuniyoshi captured them through one of our favorite art forms: cat puns.

Why We Love It

There are fat cats, lazy cats, snacking cats, and sassy cats, each of them a metaphor. For example, in the upper left corner two kittens snooze soundly with mama, a play on the name of the 41st station Miya, which sounds similar to the Japanese word for parent, oya (親). Peep the scrawny, spotted creature with some serious cattitude at the bottom of the left panel? That’s the 51st station Ishibe, similar to the word miji-me (ミじめ), meaning miserable. Read more on the blog!


+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.


Museo Portfolio Rag

Edition Structure:
8"x10" | edition of 10
11"x14" | edition of 200
16"x20" | edition of 50
20"x24" | edition of 25

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) was a Japanese artist and printmaker, and is often regarded as one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. His style was characterized by dynamic figures with realistic, studied postures of movement. With fine, detailed lines, he was able to pack whole storylines into small scenes and vignettes like those in Cats as the Fifty-three Stations. His subjects typically included kabuki actors, landscapes, warriors, and animals. 
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