Bamboo seller

Kidai Shoran (detail) © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin), former collection of Hans-Joachim and Inge Küster, gift of Manfred Bohms 2002, photography: Tadao Kodaira

Large quantities of bamboo were used during the Edo period, mainly as a building material and for bamboo handiwork. So much bamboo was used that a bamboo warehouse was established in the Ryogoku area. It was also sold by peddlers like the one shown here. The Kyobashi area was a rich source of bamboo, with bamboo wholesalers and a dense grove of bamboo lining the riverside. One of Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo depicts this scene, with a flatboat filled with bamboo crafts having just passed under the Kyobashi Bridge, with bamboo along the riverbank extending into the horizon.