Tag Archives: Kunisada

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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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 #4 Ishikawa Goemon

To download this Ishikawa Goemon Kabuki card as a PDF, click this link.

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Kabuki All-Stars, #1 Jiraiya

During the current crisis, Toshidama Gallery will post a series of ‘playing card’  guides to the heroes and villains of the kabuki theatre, as depicted in the woodblock prints of the nineteenth century. Not very academic, but I hope that … Continue reading

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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

British Museum Acquires Japanese Prints

There has been some welcome publicity for the brilliance, the genius of Japanese woodblock prints in the last few weeeks. The Guardian newspaper donated a large chunk of webspace to  advertising  the acquisition of  some 359 Japanese prints by the … Continue reading

Posted in British Museum, Floating World, Japanese Art Gallery, Japanese prints, japanese woodblock prints, kabuki theatre, ukiyo-e, ukiyo-e art, yakusha-e | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment