Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of samurai (musha-e)

The heros for the people of Edo with ukiyo-e woodblock prints Kabuki and ukiyo-e are the amenities for the townspeople in Edo period (1603-1683). Samurai and ancient battle were one of the popular themes of the theatrical performance and woodblock printing. The stories of samurai made them excited and grieved same as today.    Though there were countless ukiyo-e artists in Edo period, not all of them drew the pictures of samurai, musha-e (武者絵). The only artists who were good at expressing their bravery and painfulness with impressive pictures. Especially Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) and his disciple Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892).      The ukiyo-e woodblock prints of samurai (musha-e)     Okumura Masanobu Read more about Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of samurai (musha-e)[…]

hokusai dragon obuse

Katsushika Hokusai’s Dragon on the ceiling of a festival float

Hokusai’s outstanding Dragon painting in Obuse, Nagano Prefecture   The painting of “Dragon” on the ceiling of the festival float of Higashimachi is owned by  Hokusai Museum in Obuse City. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) visited the small city four times. Even at the first visit, he was over eighty (the average life span of Japanese people at that time was about thirty-four!). “Dragon” and “Phoenix” was the artworks which he painted at his second visit. The “Phoenix” painting on the Higashimachi festival float led to “Phoenix that glares in all directions” on the ceiling of Gansho-in Temple in the city.       Though he was already a famous ukiyo-e artist Read more about Katsushika Hokusai’s Dragon on the ceiling of a festival float[…]

Katsushika Hokusai’s the dragon and fuji scroll painting

The meaning of 「富士越龍図」(Dragon over Mt. Fuji)     Hokusai’s later years artwork The great painter and woodblock printmaker Katsushika Hokusai died April 18th, 1849. He was 90 years old at the time. According to the record,      翁 死に臨み大息し 天我をして十年の命を長らわしめば といい 暫くして更に言いて曰く 天我をして五年の命を保たしめば 真正の画工となるを得(う)べし と言吃りて死す   ‘On his deathbed, he breathed deeply and said “If the heaven let me live ten more years…”, then continued after a while “If the heaven let me preserve my life five more years, I could become a real artist.”‘       Dragon and Mt. Fuji Hokusai drew “Dragon over Mt. Fuji” in the same year when he died. The painting is Read more about Katsushika Hokusai’s the dragon and fuji scroll painting[…]

Hokusai Manga (Sketch) ukiyo-e book by Katsushika Hokusai

“Hokusai Manga” which influenced Impressionist     The sketch for the pupils but… When Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was 52 years old, he drew more than 300 sketches at his pupil’s home. And the publisher Eirakudo published the first “Hokusai Manga” in 1814. Though Hokusai intended to show his art technique for his pupils, the book became popular also among the people.         The series of “Hokusai Manga” had been published up to 15 volumes even after Hokusai died until 1878. The number of the sketches are about 4000.    Learn about Katsushika Hokusai’s biography and facts                   “Manga” means comic Read more about Hokusai Manga (Sketch) ukiyo-e book by Katsushika Hokusai[…]

Check the woodblock prints of Kawase Hasui with posters on Amazon

Outstanding woodblock artist Kawase Hasui   Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is an ukiyo-e artist, woodblock printmaker in Taisho and Showa Period in Japan. His real name is Kawase Bunjiro.   He was one of the artists who established Shin-hanga (new ukiyo-e woodblock prints) including Yoshida Hiroshi, Ito Shinsui, Takahashi Shotei, and Tsuchiya Koitsu. They worked artistic activity to revive the declined Japanese ukiyo-e.  He expresses Japanese beautiful landscapes richly and people call him as “Travelling mood poet” “Travelling Printmaker” “Utagawa Hiroshige of Showa”. Hasui gets a high evaluation abroad rather than in the country. Of course, Katsushika Hokusai or Utagawa Hiroshige is famous in Japan but the many Japanese people don’t know Read more about Check the woodblock prints of Kawase Hasui with posters on Amazon[…]

Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Hakone, the view of Asinoko Lake” landscape ukiyo-e print

“Hakone, the view of Asinoko Lake” from Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido   It is a masterpiece Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)‘s artworks painted by a combination of various colors and unusual shapes of Mt Hakone. The ancient Japanese people called Hakone Pass as “The most precipitous in the country, the abyssal ravine”.   Hiroshige drew the overflowing mountain with the overwhelming sense of volume, which express the difficulty to cross the pass.   On the lower right, the Daimyo’s procession goes down the narrow and steep slope in a row. With colors like a mosaic, the extremely deformed Mt. Hakone sticks out to Lake Ashinoko with a steep gradient.   We can Read more about Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Hakone, the view of Asinoko Lake” landscape ukiyo-e print[…]

Learn about ukiyo-e woodblock! Definition, history, famous artists and prints

What is a “ukiyo-e”? An introduction to Japanese woodblock printing Ukiyo-e  (pronounciation:uː.ˈki.oʊ.ˌeɪ, uːˌkiːjəʊˈeɪ. 浮世絵 in kanji) is essential field in Japanese art . The art never developed without the common people of the Edo Period.   Sponsored Links   It is said that the beginning of the ukiyo-e, the Japanese art of woodblock printings, is the pictures of Kyoto people’s living in late 16th century.     After that, the themes of ukiyoe expanded to popular kabuki actors, beautiful women and landscapes. “ukiyo” (浮世) means contemporary with hedonisitic and fleeting idea, so ukiyo-e translated as picture of floating world.               Sponsored Links             Read more about Learn about ukiyo-e woodblock! Definition, history, famous artists and prints[…]

Ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai:biography, facts, and artworks

Katsushika Hokusai who created the famous great wave painting Katsushika Hokusai must be the most famous Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e) artist around the world. How to pronounce “Katsushika Hokusai”   His art works of images including The Great Off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) and other prints of “Thirty-Six Views of Mount. Fuji” influenced Western artists Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas and Henri Rivière.           His printmaking works still have inspired the artists and the creators. In 1960, celebrating his 200th birth anniversary, he was honored as the cultural master in the world.(learn about Japanese painting by the early modern)           In 1760, Katsushika Hokusai was born in Honjo, Edo. Read more about Ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai:biography, facts, and artworks[…]

All ’53 Stages on the Tokaido’ art prints by Utagawa Hiroshige is here

The masterpiece arts of Utagawa Hiroshige, “Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido”   Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige led the field of landscape printing in ukiyo-e. Especially, “Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido” is one of the most highly regarded woodblock printings series in Japanese art.                       When he started to draw the paintings around 1833, “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” , by the most famous ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, depicted the Japanese symbolic mountain was had dominated ukiyo-e market.   Thanks in partly to the popularity of the landscape printings, “Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido” really rang the bell and he became the sought-after artist in Edo Period.   Read more about All ’53 Stages on the Tokaido’ art prints by Utagawa Hiroshige is here[…]

Three beauties of the present day

Three Beauties of the Present Day (Tôji san bijin) by Kitagawa Utamaro

Famous Three Beauties of the Present Day ukiyo-e artwork by Kitagawa Utamaro   In the world of ukiyo-e, Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) had no equal with beautiful woman portrait (bijinga). Especially, “Three beauties of the present day” is one of the most important works.   Learn about Kitagawa Utamaro   “The present day” means Kansei Period (1789~1801) of Edo Era when Utamaro was active. It is common to call the print as “Three beauties of Kansei” in Japan.    The popular bijinga is thought to be created in 1793. The three girls were so famous for their beauty around Edo city, from left to right, Ohisa, Toyohina, and Okita.   They look alike? Exactly. Read more about Three Beauties of the Present Day (Tôji san bijin) by Kitagawa Utamaro[…]