During the Edo period (1603-1867), floriculture became so popular. Not only the upper-class people like shoguns and daimyos were absorbed in gardening, but also the common people enjoyed growing potted flowers and plants, and decorating their homes with them in the city of Edo, modern Tokyo. The exhibition introduces people’s love and passion for floriculture at that time, through over 200 ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

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“Unbelievable Floriculture in Ukiyo-e”
January 31, – March 10, 2019
The Tobacco and Salt Museum, Tokyo

Utagawa Kunifusa,
植木売りと役者 歌川国房 前・後期展示
大判錦絵三枚続き たばこと塩の博物館蔵
Plants vendors and kabuki actors, Utagawa Kunifusa, whole term display
The Tobacco and Salt Museum collection

People’s Passion for Floriculture in Edo

In the Edo period, visiting the famous spots for the seasonal blossoming of flowers was a great pastime for people. After flowerpots came into wide use in the mid-eighteenth century, growing flowers and plants became more popular.

Keisai Eisen
浮世四十八手夜をふかして朝寝の手 前期展示
溪斎英泉 個人蔵
Women brushing their teeth, one holding a pot of morning glory, Keisai Eisen.
Private collection. Second term display.
 Utagawa Kunisada(Utagawa Toyokuni III).
ゑん日の景 歌川国貞(三代歌川豊国) 前期展示
大判錦絵三枚続き 個人蔵
The scene of En-nichi(Festival), Utagawa Kunisada(Utagawa Toyokuni III).
Private collection. First term display.

The life of Edo citizens was ideal subject for ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and the common people with flowers and plants in flowerpots were often drawn in many of them. One of the most depicted scenes in ukiyo-e was vendors selling plants in flowerpots. There were many vendors called furi-uri, walking and selling various things on the street. Plants in flowerpots were also sold by them.

 Utagawa Sadafusa, Utagawa Yoshitora
右/新板樹木づくし 歌川貞房 大判錦絵 個人蔵 前期展示
左/新板植木つくし 歌川芳虎 大判錦絵 個人蔵 前期展示
Many kinds of potted shrubs and trees, Utagawa Sadafusa(R). Private collection.
Many kinds of potted plants, Utagawa Yoshitora(L). Private collection.
First term display.

Enthusiasm for Floriculture

Utagawa Kuniyoshi
百種接分菊 歌川国芳 
大判錦絵三枚続き 個人蔵
A grafted chrysanthemum with 100 kinds of flowers, Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
Private collection. First term display.

During the Edo period, growing chrysanthemums or morning glories was often in fashion, and gardening books were sold well. Lots of new and rare flowers were created by fanciers at that time.

Through ukiyo-e, you can see the different types of floriculture which the people of Edo were passionate about.


“Unbelievable Floriculture in Ukiyo-e”

January 31, – March 10, 2019

First term/January 31, – February 17.  Second term/February 19, – March 10.

  • Some of the exhibition items will change on February 18.

The tobacco and Salt Museum


General admission fees
General(Adults and university students)
Group(20 or more):50yen

Children and pupils of primary, junior-high, and high schools
Group(20 or more):20yen

Visitors over 65 years old ※Please show proof of age when entering.
Group(20 or more):20yen

※ With age certificate, visitors over 65 years old are admitted for half price.
※ With disability certificate, free admission for disabled persons and one accompanying attendant.

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