Illustration of a Steam Locomotive on the Yatsuyamashita Shore, Tokyo (Tokyo Yatsuyamashita Kaigan Jōkisha Tetsudō no Zu)
Painted by Utagawa Hiroshige III Around 1871 (Meiji 4) Tokyo Shiryō Collection 723-C9

Yatsuyamashita refers to Takanawa Yatsuyama and is the present location of Shinagawa Station. We are given an idea of how the place looked at the time – apart from Kosenkyō Bridge and Yatsuyama Bridge, the first to cross Tōkaidō, the right hand of the screen also depicts foreigners in western dress and rickshaws that were coming into use at that time.

The plan to lay down rail by reclaiming the coastline was suggested in 1869 (Meiji 2) as the coast of Takanawa was at that time a wide, shallow beach. There were naturally many voices raised in opposition against this plan. The opposition came from groups who fished in the sea of Takanawa and Shinagawa and groups who traded along the Tokaido line.
This area was a place where fishing and seaweed cultivation had thrived since the Edo period. Additionally, due to the fact that the area around Yatsuyama was also a bustling street lined with fishmongers and tea houses, the Meiji Government offered these groups financial compensation, and finally the line was laid down. The opening of the connection also brought about a range of problems for the people in the area.
In this painting there is no seal for approval to clarify the exact date of publication but in addition to the Tsukiji Hotel which was burned down in February 1872 (Meiji 5) appearing on the left edge, there is also the fact that square-box-shaped locomotives looking like toys are running on an area without rails, so this work is considered to have been painted before Meiji 5.