Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tales Of Old Japan

The new selection of prints online at Toshidama Japanese Prints takes inspiration from a book published by an English aristocrat in 1871. They are a random collection of folk tales, myths and stories from before the great modernisation of Japan … Continue reading

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A Portrait of Ichimura Uzaemon XIII

On these pages are some light hearted guides to the villains and heroes of the kabuki stage. We’re calling them ‘Kabuki All-stars’. The current exhibition at the Toshidama Gallery called Ten Artists of the Floating World, features twenty three prints … Continue reading

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Jasper Johns: Skin and Oshiguma

The print pictured above is by the outstanding American artist Jasper Johns. The print was made by Johns coating his skin with oil and then impressing his face and hands onto a sensitised litho plate. Charcoal was rubbed onto the … Continue reading

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Kabuki All-Stars #8 Matsuemon

Download this Matsuemon Kabuki card by clicking this link.

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Kabuki All-Stars #7 Soga Goro

Download this Soga Goro Kabuki card by clicking this link.

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Kabuki All Stars, #2 Danshichi

Download this Danshichi Kabuki card as a PDF by clicking this link.

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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

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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

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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