Actually, that's a misleading title for this post. I'm not going to try to explain why I love Hiroshige. I just do.
Yesterday, Uzee and I went to the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which is hosting an exhibition of Hiroshige prints taken from his series "53 Stations of the Tokaido." We saw multiple examples of numerous prints from this series, including the ones pictured here. They're gorgeous, and far more striking in person, of course.
Hiroshige's prints were made from wood blocks, so they could be reproduced and sold in book form. This means that there are tones of them floating around -- they aren't one-of-a-kind objects like, say, Picasso paintings or something. But it also means that the quality varies from print to print, as do the colors, the quality of the lines and so forth.
Someday (sigh) I hope to have one or two of his prints hanging in my house. (Yeah, someday I'll have a house, too.) In the meantime, it's great to be able to walk into a museum and just be surrounded by scenes like this.