33  Futagawa "Sarugababa"

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Futagawa was the first post town that travelers heading for Kyoto along the Tokaido Highway reached after entering what is now Aichi Prefecture. Sarugababa, the title of this picture, was a wilderness with small pine trees and shrubs, and few houses. There was a place known as "tateba" so called because palanquin bearers took a rest here after standing their poles on end. In the foreground are three itinerant blind women singers who trudge wearily in the dusk with their shamisen (stringed instruments) on their shoulders. Thus Hiroshige portrays the pathos of travel against this desolate background.