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[…]

Katsushika Hokusai’s original Phoenix painting in Obuse City

The painting of Phoenix that glares in all directions by Katsushika Hokusai In 1843, a great painter visited the small village Obuse in Shinshu (today’s Nagano Prefecture). The place where you can see the painting of Phoenix even today.  Hokusai and Obuse The man was Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). He was 83 years old at that time. He had become the popular painter by the success of “Thirty-Six Views of Mout Fuji” (1822-1831).    Even the period that Hokusai had drawn the series of ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock), he was already in the mid-70s. For reference, the average life of the Japanese at that time was about 50 years old.   He had stayed four Read more about Katsushika Hokusai’s original Phoenix painting in Obuse City[…]

The ukiyo-e museums in Tokyo.

Art museums exhibiting Japanese wood prints in Tokyo There are about 1100 museums in Japan, but not many places to do a permanent exhibition of ukiyo-e. Meanwhile, some individual or public museums in Tokyo constantly exhibit ukiyo-e.     This museum has about 14,000 ukiyo-e prints such as Katsushika Hokusai, Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Hiroshige, including about 12,000 pieces collected by Ota Kiyohura. This museum exhibits about 80 of them as they are changed every month. You take off your shoes at the entrance like a Japanese house and enter.   Adress:1-10-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Hours:10: 30 ~ 17: 30 Phone:03-5777-8600 Closed: Monday (next day in the case of holiday), changing exhibition period, year-end and Read more about The ukiyo-e museums in Tokyo.[…]

Hokusai’s waterfalls ukiyo-e artworks and the art prints for sale

“A Tour of Japanese Waterfalls”(諸国瀧廻り) Just after the success of  “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji”, popular ukiyo-e artist among Edo people, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) produced the famous waterfalls ukiyo-e series “A Tour of Japanese Waterfalls” from 1833 to 1837.   When he drew the pitcures, he used the name of “former Hokusai and Iitsu” for the signature. Because he give Hokusai to his disciple and took new name Iitsu(為一). Sponsored Links   In the prints series, he showed the eight famous falls in Japan. They depict not only the place of scenic beauty, but also the lives of people who was familiar to the waterside.         Some of the Shinto ascetics did the water discipline under Read more about Hokusai’s waterfalls ukiyo-e artworks and the art prints for sale[…]

Hokusai’s horror ghosts artworks (ukiyo-e)

The series of “A hundred horror stories” prints Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) began to deal with “A hundred horror stories”(Hyakumonogatari/百物語) in1831. He used the painting name of “Iitsu”(為一) as the signature. Hyakumonogatari was the traditional way of a gathering to speak and hear ghost stories.      As the title represents, he and the publisher would have intended to produce a hundred Japanese ukiyo-es of ghosts, but we can see only five. They gave up to continue making in halfway for some reason.    The definition, history, and famous painters of ukiyo-e woodblock printing   Several people get together at one of the houses on the night of new moon. And they light a hundred candles at the Read more about Hokusai’s horror ghosts artworks (ukiyo-e)[…]

Japanese wave arts “Oceans of Wisdom” by Katsushika Hokusai

The Japanese wave arts of “Oceans of Wisdom “(One Thousand Images of the Sea) After the finish of “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji“(富嶽三十六景), the star ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai started the new series of the Japanese wave arts “One Thousand Images of the Sea”(Oceans of Wisdom,千絵の海) in 1833.        He had mainly depicted the combination of the view with Mt.Fuji, the rivers, and the rakes in “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”.    Learn about Katsushika Hokusai’s biography and fact     But the theme of “Oceans of Wisdom” focused on the people who lived around the sea and the rivers, and went fishing.   He used the sketches which he drew for “Thirty-six Views of Read more about Japanese wave arts “Oceans of Wisdom” by Katsushika Hokusai[…]

Utagawa Hiroshige: biography and woodblock print artworks

Biography of Utagawa(Ando) Hiroshige(1797-1858)     The outstanding ukiyo-e artist, Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige<歌川(安藤) 広重> was born in 1797 as the son of the official fire fighter Ando Gen-emon. His landscape woodblock printings took many Edo citizens all over Japan. However, he was not from the class of tradesmen and artisans.       Ando family belonged to the class of samurai.  The eldest son Tokutaro(Hiroshige’s childhood name)  should have succeeded his father’s job, but he really liked to draw pictures.   In 1809, he lost parents and inherited the work of fire fighter to make a living when he was only 13. It is said that the atmosphere of loneliness in his ukiyo-e artworks is influenced by having Read more about Utagawa Hiroshige: biography and woodblock print artworks[…]