Monday, March 07, 2011

Hiroshige's "Yoshida" View, with Toyokawa Bridge: #37

Hiroshige's woodcut shows steeplejacks, or tobi, repairing a castle beside the river Toyo in present-day Aichi. Years ago one of my students at middle school decided not to continue his education, opting instead to become a steeplejack. I suggested to one of my colleagues that perhaps this wasn't a particularly wise move for the young man. The teacher's wry comment: the accomplished tobi can make as much as 1,000,000 yen in a month (approx. $11,000). By the way, the Japanese term for "black kite" (the bird) is tobi, and the two share the following Chinese character: 鳶 .

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