Shinagawa
(
品川)
The characters 千種 on the kite held by the boy read "Chikusa," which is the name of  the village seen across Edo Bay from Shinagawa. The merchant at left has bent over to light a kiseru pipe which he holds upside-down to keep out of the wind; a tobacco-box with smoking equipment is on the bench by his left hand. It is not clear why the tea-shop girl is holding up the loose rear panel of the samurai’s hakama skirt, the bottom half of his formal kamishimo outfit, as they watch – is she keeping it out of the way, or perhaps helping him adjust it? The reading of the partial sign at top left is unclear.

Edo meisho zue, 4: Shingawa offing (1837)
Ehon monomioka, 7: Famous Restaurants in Shinagawa (1785)

 


The text quoes a riddle from 永正十三年正月後奈良院御撰 (Go-Nara-in On-nazo no kai, 1516): 謎合せに海の道十里にたらず蛤," where the riddling phrases “sea road” (hama, beach) and “not ten leagues”(kuri, nine leagues) combine to form the word “clam” (hamaguri). (江戸名所図絵品川汐干 (vol . 4, p. 18).


1.自慢菴花咲翁    Jiman’an Hanasakiō  (Flowery Old Man of Pride Inn)
 千万の
船の荷物も

あまりなく
江戸の気せうの
よくさばけたり

senman no
fune no nimotsu mo
amari naku
Edo no kishō no
yoku sabaketari

A million boats
each carrying
little weight -
the Edo character
in a nutshell.


2. 為善堂最楽  Izendō Sairaku  (Doinggood Havingfun)
つとゆかば
波やよせなん
しほ干かた
沖へハよしに
品川の浦
tsuto yukaba
nami ya yose nan  
shiohigata
oki e wa yoshi ni
Shinagawa no ura
The waves in ranks
advance suddenly,

then halt well
off the tidal-flat ramparts
of Shinagawa Bay.
The seashore imagery of the poem puns on the terminology of the traditional go board-game: the term nami ("waves") refers to the ranks of the board, oki ("tidal flat") to a fortified position, and yose ("advance") to the endgame.

3. 不了軒止安  Furyōken Shian   (Evil Thoughts)
見渡せは
助六がいふ
安房上総

羽子田の鼻へ
はひる親船

miwataseba
Sukeroku ga iu
Awa Kazusa
Haneda no hana e
hairu oyabune

Gazing out one sees
the lands of Awa and Kazusa
that Sukeroku spoke of,
and the small boats entering
through “The Nose of Haneda.”
The poem echoes the famous speech by the beloved dramatic character Sukeroku about the superior view of the lands east of Edo afforded by the frame of his Edo-style chonmage hairdo.

4.市人   Ichibito  (Merchant)
あそぶ日ハ
海苔とる舟も

品川の
すへあげてほす
浦の初春

asobu hi wa
nori toru fune mo
Shinagawa no
sueagete hosu
ura no hatsuharu

On this holiday
even the seaweed collected by

the boats in Shinagawa Bay
is left to shrivel up:
the Start of Spring on the bay.

The imagery is of New Years Day.