Edo Sceneries on Doro-e from the Polak Collection – Distant Views on the Backdrops


poster for Edo Sceneries on Doro-e from the Polak Collection – Distant Views on the Backdrops
[Image: © IMT]

Ends in 23 days

*To prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Intermediatheque will be closed for the time being, starting Sunday April 25.

The present exhibition showcases various sceneries from the Edo period drawn from a distant viewpoint, combining “doro-e” pictures such as “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido” with actual maps drawn for The Pictorial Survey Map of the Tokaido. Sakutaro Fujioka (1870-1910), a Japanese literature scholar, qualified the doro-e (literally “mud pictures”) from the end of the Edo period as “backdrop paintings offering distant views.” Doro-e are recently being reevaluated, especially in the West, following the same trend as ukiyo-e.

The main characteristic of doro-e is the cool and dry Prussian blue pigment occupying the whole surface. With the horizon line set low within the frame, the scenery is depicted from a bird’s-eye view according to Western one-point perspective. The buildings of the warriors’ residences are standardized, and the human figures are simplified to the point of being comparable with squids or mushrooms. As with the simplified painting of Mount Fuji decorating public baths, doro-e with characteristically stereotyped forms depict the city as a concept transcending time. They can be qualified as abstract landscape painting.

*Dates for Intermediatheque’s Special Exhibitions are subject to change.



from June 24, 2020 to May 30, 2021
Final day of exhibition tbc.



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
fridays closing at 20:00, saturdays closing at 20:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Open on public holiday Monday but closed on the following day. Closed during the New Year holidays.


Address: 2F, 3F JP Tower 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-7003
Phone: 050-5541-8600

1 minute walk from the Marunouchi South exit of JR Tokyo Station, 2 minute walk from exit 4 at Nijubashimae Station on the Chiyoda line.

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