Category Archives: Japanese prints

Spring – What Spring?

The spring 2020 exhibition at the Toshidama Gallery was meant to be about spring. The joy of new life; cherry blossom, budding trees, love, birth, renewal… alas,  how the world is plunged into fear and illness and despair. Life nevertheless … Continue reading

Posted in Hirosada, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, Kunichika, Kunisada, Osaka Prints, ukiyo-e, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Figures and Backgrounds in Ukiyo-e

Japanese woodblock prints liberate the figure from the ground by either dipensing with it altogether, or by embedding it like in marquetry, or by creating a series of flat cut outs arranged in shallow space – like the flats in a theatre. The figure can be turned into the complex system of signs and symbols that create narrative or else be involved in the complex visual game of ‘mitate’ where people and things stand for or make equivalence with other things… naturalism as known in the west is not part of the repetoire of ukiyo-e artists, their game was more complicated Continue reading

Posted in Figure and Ground, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, ukiyo-e art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Teahouse of the August Moon…

Well, not quite. I wanted to look at a new print at the Toshidama Gallery; a superb Yoshikazu image of a teahouse in Yokohama from 1861. It’s an outstanding image, it opens up an impossible series of spaces, bridges, walkways, … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese prints, Sugoroku, ukiyo-e, Uncategorized, Yokohama, Yoshiwara | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bandits and Warlords. Fighting men in Japanese prints.

The Toshidama Gallery is showing a collection of prints featuring aggressive and violent folk heroes and warlords. The selection looks at how the populace of Edo expressed their frustration with the government and with the increasingly corrupt samurai class. As … Continue reading

Posted in Asian Art, Floating World, Japanese Art, Japanese gangster, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, Male Tragedy, Otokodate, Suikoden, yoshitoshi | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugoroku Magic – Shimidzu no Kwanja Yoshitaka

What a spendid rat! The magician riding along here is not Nikki Danjo – the great kabuki villain who transforms into a rat in order to steal a valuable scroll – this chap is Shimidzu no Kwanja Yoshitaka. He was … Continue reading

Posted in Edo, Floating World, Japanese Art, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, Kunichika, Magical, supernatural Japanese print, Toshidama Gallery. | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Collecting Japanese Woodblock Prints

Prints From the collection of Ruth Muschel and Gillies McKenna at Wolfson College, Oxford. We attended the opening of an exhibition of Japanese prints from the private collection of ukiyo-e belonging to Ruth Muschel and Gillies McKenna at Wolfson College, … Continue reading

Posted in Art Collector, Floating World, Hiroshige, Japanese Art, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, ukiyo-e, ukiyo-e art, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

War; Regret and Loss

There’s been a great deal of media discussion about war in the UK press this week because it is the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day. War, conflict slaughter… sacrifice and duty, these are all common themes in Japanese prints. Martial events … Continue reading

Posted in Asian Art, Japanese Art, Japanese Art Gallery, Japanese Poetry, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, Kiyochika, Male Tragedy, Male Tragedy in Japanese Prints, Meiji Art, musha-e, senso-e, Sino-Japanese War, ukiyo-e, ukiyo-e art, Uncategorized, yoshitoshi | Tagged , | 1 Comment