posted on May 24, 2017

Ukiyoe is a style of woodblock printing. It was created in Japan and developed at the end of the Edo period, about 200 years ago. The themes often chosen were beautiful landscapes, people’s daily life, sumo wrestlers, popular kabuki actors and beautiful women.

Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai, who I greatly admire, were leading Ukiyoe artists around the 19th century and now are world-famous. Many of their works are in the possession of prestigious museums outside Japan today and they are introduced to people around the world in exhibitions.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (from the series, 36 Views of Mt.Fuji)

Hokusai is famous for his works such as Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji. Among them, The Great Wave off Kanagawa is very famous and the image is used in many goods and souvenirs now.

His works are characterized by the dynamic composition and wonderful perspective.

He had a long career, but most of his valuable works were created after he turned 60.

 

 

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake (from the series, 100 Famous Views of Edo)

Hiroshige is famous for his works such as The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.

The beautiful Prussian blue he used is called Hiroshima blue, which characterizes his works.

The distinctive compositions and colors he used inspired Western artists like Van Gogh and Monet and were studied by them.