Skip to Content
Closed today, next open tomorrow. Closed today, next open tomorrow.

Poetic Travel

A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.


1st month, 1883


Shibata Zeshin
Japanese, 1807-1891

About this artwork

Shibata Zeshin depicts a section of a sugoroku board game featuring the Tokaido highway. The game appeared early in Japanese history, and, by the early modern period, it had become widely popular. It was also traditionally played at New Year’s, making it a fitting subject for this print, which is dated from January. The Tokaido sugoroku pitted players against each other as they traveled along the highway stations on a large woodblock-printed board.
Zeshin inscribed the players’ markers with their names. As a joke, he wrote his own name and the name of the host of this surimono poetry gathering, Hirota Seichi, on two of the cards. The print demonstrates Seichi’s ability to gather a wide range of participants, likely his students and friends, of which Zeshin seems to have been one. They may also have gathered around a game of sugoroku in real life.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Shibata Zeshin


Poetic Travel


Japan (Artist's nationality)




Color woodblock print; surimono


58 × 43.7 cm (22 7/8 × 17 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. Mitchell Collection unrestricted gift

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions