Cotton Transport Ships Racing to Edo Set Sail from the Mouth of the River (Higaki shinmen bansen kawaguchi shuppan no zu)


Edo period
about 1854–59 (Ansei era)
Artist Gansuitei Yoshitoyo (Japanese, died 1866), Blockcutter Seiyôken (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Musée national d'histoire et d'art, Luxembourg, Schätze der Kamigata (exh. cat., 2012), #171; Kitagawa, "Bosuton bijutsukan shozô Kamigata-e mokuroku" (Kansai daigaku, 2007), p. 126


Vertical ôban triptych; 36 x 73 cm (14 3/16 x 28 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The fall race of cargo ships carrying cotton from the mouth of the Aji River in Osaka to the port of Uraga, near Edo, was a festive annual event carried out from 1694 until the early Meiji era. In the 1859 race, the fastest ship made the trip in just over two days, although the usual time for the route was about fifteen days.


Yoshitoyo ga (on right sheet)


Blockcutter's mark: Horinushi Seiyôken
彫主 盛陽軒


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection