Category Archives: japanese woodblock 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

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

Sugoroku Magic – Princess Yuki

The image above is the top centre panel from an amazing Sugoroku game board designed by the artist Toyoharu Kunichika in the 1860’s. You can see the whole board at the Toshidama Gallery website by clicking this link: Sugoroku Board. … Continue reading

Posted in Floating World, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, Kunichika, Sugoroku, supernatural Japanese print | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugoroku Magic – Unryu-kuro

This tremendous image of a magician floating on a magical cloud-dragon is the neighbour of the image of the Ghost of Seigen – the previous entry- from the stunning supernatural Sugoroku board we are showing at the Toshidama Gallery… the … Continue reading

Posted in Edo, Floating World, ghosts, Japanese Demon, japanese woodblock prints, Kunichika, Sugoroku, supernatural Japanese print, Toshidama Gallery., ukiyo-e art, Woodblock print | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugoroku Magic – The Ghost of Seigen

The picture above is the first detail in our series taken from the stunning supernatural Sugoroku board showing at the Toshidama Gallery. It is a sort of compendium  of ghosts, magicians, magic creatures and so on. This is the ‘last … Continue reading

Posted in Asian Art, Edo, Floating World, ghosts, japanese woodblock prints, Sugoroku, supernatural Japanese print, Toshidama Gallery., Uncategorized, Vintage Board Games | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment