Ukiyoe 浮世絵 (Transient World Arts)
“Ukiyoe” [浮世絵/うきよえ] is the famous Japanese traditional picture.
Picture: “Fugaku Sanjūrokkei”(富嶽三十六景)
“Ukiyoe” is 【picture of the floating world】. It became popular around Edo period(1603~1867).
The picture depicts the “everyday life of the Japanese people”, “landscapes”, “beautiful women”, and more specizialised topics like “sumo wrestlers”.
It usually depicted the everyday life of Kyoto’s inhabitants.
At first ukiyo-e weren’t prints but paintings made with (black ink). Then color has been added, and as the spectre of colors increased and the paintings became more complicated, the woodblock printing technique has been developed to mass-produce prints of the same design. Only a few colors were used in the early prints, but as the technique improved, ukiyo-e became more colorful and refined. Making woodblock prints was a three-stage process:
(1) painting a design with ink,
(2) carving the design onto wooden blocks, and
(3) applying colored ink to the blocks and pressing sheets of paper on them to print the design.
There were specialists for each of these stages, and the entire process took a lot of work, but once the blocks were completed, it became much easier than before to make reproductions of the same design.
The prints mass-produced in this way were circulated widely among the public, and ukiyo-e developed into a popular art form.
If you are interested in Ukiyoe, watch this movie. And check lower article.
There are some famous “Ukiyoe” so I’ll introduce you some.
1. “Portraits of beauties”(美人画/BijinGa) by Utamaro Kitagawa
2. “Kabuki actors”(歌舞伎役者/KabukiYakusha) by Sharaku Toshusai
3. “Kanagawa Oki Nami Ura”(神奈川沖浪裏) and “Gaifu Kaisei”(凱風快晴)by Hokusai Katsushika