Tag Archives: Japanese prints

Japanese Prints and the Tradition of Story Telling

Complex narrative lies at the heart of traditional Japanese culture. From the very beginnings, the Japanese were devoted to the structure of sophisticated narrative. The first true novel, the 11th century Genji monogatari – “The Tale of the Genji”- is … Continue reading

Posted in 47 Ronin, Chushingura, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, Kunichika, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, ukiyo-e, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 Japanese Inspired Poster by Annie Offterdinger

I was very struck recently by a book of original Art Deco designs that came up at auction, one of which was a fashion plate, or poster by a less known German illustrator, Annie Offterdinger. What struck me so much … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese Art, japanese woodblock prints, Kunichika, Paul Gauguin, ukiyo-e | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 #6 Gonpachi

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

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Kabuki All-Stars #3 Benkei

To download this Benkei Kabuki card as a PDF, click 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

Posted in Figure and Ground, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, ukiyo-e art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 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

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