was born in Edo in 1797, the son of the warden
of the fire department assigned to Edo Castle.
He showed an early interest in art and first
studied under Okajime Rinsai. In 1811, at the
age of 14, he became a pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro
and also studied "Nanga" painting under Ooka
Umpo. During this period he became interested
in Western art. His delightful, charming and
dexterious portrayal of Japanese life and topography
made Hiroshige deservedly popular in the West.
More than any other printmaker, he was responsible
for the Westerner's view of "quaint Japan".
His prints and sketches show great technical
virtuosity and a naturalistic yet often dramatic
view point. When the Japanese print was re-discovered
in Europe at the end of the 19th Century, it
was Hiroshige who gave Western artists -- including
Whistler, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin
and Van Gogh -- a new vision of nature.