As the northern Japanese Alps meet the sea, the cliffs of Oyashirazu were known for their notoriously dangerous conditions. Here, the Hokurikudo Road became a treacherous and narrow strip between the rugged cliffs and the crashing Sea of Japan. The name “Oyashirazu” means “without knowing one’s parents,” alluding to a mother’s poem penned after losing her child to the waves at this site. In Hiroshige’s design, the abbreviated figures on the beach emphasize the enormity of the cliffs and the depth of their many waterside caves. As the sea roils in shades of blue, its waves taller than the figures on the shore, Hiroshige hints at the inherent danger of this famous place. Today, the former Echigo Province corresponds with Niigata Prefecture, excluding Sado Island.