Thirty-six Views of the Pride of Edo, the Year-end Fair at Asakusa (Edo Jiman Sanjūrokkyō Asakusa Toshi no Ichi)
Painted by Utagawa Toyokuni III and Utagawa Hiroshige II 1864 (Genji 1) Tokyo Shiryō 3536-C15a
This is an illustration of the still continuing Asakusa Year End Fair. In the twelfth month of the lunar calendar, in order to prepare for the New Year, fairs were held here and there throughout Edo selling all kinds of New Year goods such as Shimekazari (sacred straw festoons), Shinto home altars and hagoita wooden paddles and also New Year foods.
There is a fair in Asakusa that continues to be held even today in Senso-ji Temple on December 17th as theYear End Fair and you can see many visitors coming to this to buy hagoita wooden paddles. In the Edo period, the fair day of Senso-ji Temple was the 18th of every month. The 17th and 18th of the twelth month of the lunar calendar were the final fair days of the year (also called Saimatsu-ichi [Year End Fair]) and as such offered the opportunity to pay homage to the Kannon offering thanks for having made it safely through the year and to pray for a good year to come and so many people came here for this and it formed one of the annual events of Edo.
The Edo Year End Fair begins from the fair at the Fukagawa Hachiman Shrine on the 14th and then continued in all areas until New Year's Eve.