Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Seki (number 48), from the Reisho series

Ando Hiroshige, Published by Marusei

Edo period (1615-1868), About 1840

Against a velvety black sky full of snowflakes, the snow lying heavily on the small village of Seki blankets a tall rounded hill. In the foreground porters struggle onward through the falling snow along the Tokaido road. The stark contrast of the dark sky echoes the vast snowy silence. One can almost hear the porters’ feet crunching slowly up the path toward food, rest, and a hot bath at the end of a long, hard day.