Journey along the Tōkaidō

To show change over time and compare cultures as well as learn more about a very important part of Japanese history and culture, the “Journey along the Tōkaidō” has been created using various primary source materials.  Japan’s National Road, the Tōkaidō Road, from Tokyo to Kyoto in Japan is examined at various time periods (1830s, 1920s, and present day).

Students will study two primary source materials: the Tōkaidō gojūsantsugi manga emaki (The Fifty Three Stations of the Tōkaidō Manga Scroll, which will be referred to as the “Tōkaidō Manga Scroll”) and the The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō woodblock prints. This Tōkaidō manga scroll was created by 18 members of the Tokyo Manga Association during a trip approximating the route of the old Tōkaidō in 1921 and depicts scenes of Japanese culture, history, economics, daily life, transportation, architecture, and industry. Utagawa (Andō) Hiroshige’s The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1833–1834 in the Hōeidō edition) is a series of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) of the stations along the Tōkaidō. These ukiyo-e prints became enormously popular and have been reprinted countless times down to the present. The scroll is part of an online module, “Journey along the Tōkaidō,” which includes a video of the scroll, links to the ukiyo-e (woodblock prints from 1833-34) and links to sections of the Tōkaidō area today, along with other background material.

The Tōkaidō Road, from Tokyo to Kyoto in Japan will be examined at various time periods (1830s, 1920s, and present day) as well as show comparisons to the U.S. National Road and Route 66.  Lesson plans align to the state standards of Ohio.

Funding was provided by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and coordinated through the Institute for Japanese Studies.

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