Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Nissaka (日坂): The Nightly Weeping Rock (小夜の中山夜啼石) from the series Fifty-three Pairings for the Tōkaidō Road (Tōkaidō gojūsan tsui - 東海道五十三対)

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Dates: circa 1843 - 1847,created
Dimensions: 9.875 in,14.125 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal: kiri
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō
(Marks 127 - seal 21-095)

Related links: Hagi Uragami Museum of Art; National Diet Library; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; British Museum; Chazen Museum of Art; Harvard Art Museums; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Ritsumeikan University; Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow; Walters Museum of Art; Google maps - Nissaka;

Physical description:

There are nine prints from this series, Fifty-three Pairings for the Tōkaidō Road (Tōkaidō gojūsan tsui - 東海道五十三対), in the Lyon Collection. See also #s 382, 815, 816, 819, 861, 951, 1022 and 1095.

"Sayo no nakayama is a mountain pass between the town of Nissaka and Kakegawa, in Shizuoka prefecture. It is mentioned in waka poetry as one of the most difficult passes of the Tōkaidō, together with Hakone and Suzuka. It was famous for the 'nightly weeping rock' (yonaki ishi) and the 'child-rearing-candy' (kosodate ame), after a legend, according to which one faithful Buddhist woman who was pregnant was killed by a bandit while traveling to visit her husband. The kannon (Buddhist goddess of mercy) from nearby Kyūen-ji caused a stone by the side of the road to cry for help, which was heard by a priest (probably the kannon in disguise), who took the child from the woman's womb and fed it with a candy. When the boy grew up he revenged his mother's death. After that, the temple changed its name to Kosodate-bosatsu (child-rearing bosatsu) and the candy has been sold at a local tea-house as meibutsu. The stone was removed from the street in 1877..."

Quoted from: The Tōkaidō Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan by Jilly Traganou, fn. 94, p. 237.


There are other copies of this print in the National Gallery, Prague, in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford and in the Harn Museum at the University of Florida.


Illustrated in color in Kunisada's Tōkaidō: Riddles in Japanese Woodblock Prints by Andreas Marks, p. 104, #T78-26.


There is another copy of this print in the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.