Monthly Archives: April 2011

Of Men and Umbrellas – Kasa-obake in Hirosada’s Woodblock Print

What a fantastic image we have here. Who is it, what is it, what does it mean? At first glance I suppose that this looks like a diffident man poking his head through the battered sides of a Japanese parasol. … Continue reading

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Cezanne and Hokusai and the Mountainous Motif

Here are two great artists of the nineteenth century – innovators, visionaries and both of them artists of great influence. Both Hokusai and Cezanne have in different ways exerted huge influence over the course of art, certainly in the west … Continue reading

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Giant Spiders – Obscure Meanings in Japanese Prints Part I

Arachnophobes – which I’m afraid includes me! – should look away now. Ukiyo-e is littered with the corpses and the dripping fangs of over-sized and fantastical spiders. Something one notices immediately is how similar they all look and also how … Continue reading

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Spring, Ukiyo-e and Cherry Blossom

There’s no mistaking spring here in the UK. As pictured, we have our own cherry blossom right outside the window and I should be contemplating the transience and the beauty of life and its sudden passing or mono no aware … Continue reading

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The Printed Road – The Tokaido in Japanese Prints

When you first start looking at ukiyo-e you almost immediately come across a reference to the famous Tokaido Road. This great highway runs 303 miles from the old capital of Kyoto to what is now Tokyo and for centuries has … Continue reading

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The Care of Japanese Prints

It’s important to know what to do with prints when you buy them; these are after all rare and valuable things and a long term investment. People collect ukiyo-e for a variety of reasons; some are collectors with a real … Continue reading

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