6 results
Warrior Asahina Kobayashi
The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This 1862 print is a half-length portrait of an actor, wearing a robe with a bird motif, in the role of Asahina. The print is from the series The 36 Stars of ...
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A Modern Version of the Tale of Genji in Snow Scenes
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This triptych is a joint work by Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III ...
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Library of Congress
The Sumo Wrestler Kagamiiwa of the West Side
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This sumo-e (pictures of sumo wrestlers), by Utagawa Toyokuni II, is ...
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Library of Congress
Twelve Months by Toyokuni: First Dancing Practice of the New Year
This nishiki-e (Japanese multicolored woodblock print) is one of a 12-part series depicting annual events and the changing of people’s lives with the seasons, from January to December, modeled on beautiful women in Edo (present-day Tokyo) in the early 19th century. This picture, a happy and brilliant scene that symbolizes the New Year, represents January and is titled in the top left-hand corner. It shows two young women having their first dancing practice of the New Year to a shamisen accompaniment. The dance is Harukoma, which expresses the wish ...
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National Diet Library
Twelve Months by Toyokuni: The December Pounding of Rice Cakes
This picture is one of a series depicting the annual events and changing lives of people through the seasons from January to December. It was published in Edo (present-day Tokyo) in 1854. The artist, Utagawa Kunisada (circa 1786–1864), a pupil of Utagawa Toyokuni I, took the name Toyokuni III in 1844. In the Edo period, no well-to-do family would greet the New Year without making its own rice cakes. Some of the cakes were made into kagami-mochi, mirror rice cakes, large round hard cakes piled one atop the other ...
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National Diet Library
Momotaro and Kaidomaru Wrestling
This nishiki-e (multicolored woodblock print) is by Utagawa Kunisada I, also called Toyokuni III and other names, who lived circa 1786–1864 and was a leading artist of ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). He was famous for his prints of Kabuki actors, beautiful women, and sumo (Japanese traditional wrestling). A favorite pictorial joke in the Edo period (1600–1867) was the depiction of sumo performed by unusual participants. In this print Kunisada shows the meeting of the two strong boys of Japanese folktales, Momotarō and Kintarō. Momotarō, born from ...
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National Diet Library