Ukiyo-e

Japanese Animation Artist Brings Ukiyo-e Prints To Life With Charming Gifs And Back To The Future

Ukiyo-e, which translates to “image(s) of the floating world,” is a genre of Japanese art that thrived from the 17th to 19th centuries. Artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of everything from scenes of folk tales to erotica, and though the number of artists specializing in ukiyo-e has diminished since the genre was at its zenith, efforts are being made to bring it back into the modern art world. Some of these efforts include applying an Ukiyo-e aesthetic to popular franchises such as Star Wars, and legendary Iron Maiden mascot Eddie. One of the more charming and eccentric examples of this we have seen lately comes from Atsushi Segawa, a…

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Download 2,600+ Works By Japanese Ukiyo-e Artists From This Free Digital Collection

Considering the sheer number of magnificent works legendary artists have introduced to the world, it’s nearly impossible to visit them all and scrutinize their every detail in person. But as we’ve seen time and time again with digitized collections like that of ukiyo-e artist Hasui Kawase, getting access to works of art passed on throughout history has become easier than ever. Following suit of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library is the Library of Congress, which has recently released over 2,600 works of ukiyo-e and woodblock print artworks by legendary Japanese artists. The contents of this digital collection can be downloaded for…

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Rolling Stones Meets Traditional Japanese Art In Limited Edition Ukiyo-e Prints

Proved by the truly badass ukiyo-e artworks of legendary rock bands KISS and Iron Maiden, hard rock and traditional Japanese art go hand in hand like rum and coke. Now it’s the turn of Rolling Stones fans to raise their glasses, because the iconic “Tongue and Lips” logo has gotten the ukiyo-e treatment in a series of epic woodblock prints. Ukiyo-e, which translates to “image(s) of the floating world,” is a genre of Japanese art that thrived from the 17th to 19th centuries. Artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of everything from scenes of folk tales to erotica, and though the number of artists specializing in ukiyo-e has diminished since…

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Japanese Railway Uses Ukiyo-e Style Posters To Teach Train Etiquette

It wouldn’t be an unfair generalization to say that Japan is a society that values established rules of etiquette, but in recent years a growing emphasis has been placed on paying attention to manners while commuting by train. While these guidelines aren’t always followed, things like speaking loudly, talking on the phone, eating, or taking up too much space are discouraged. Understandably, adherence to rules can be easily lost in the mix when you are hurrying home after a long day at work, or visiting from another country. As a helpful reminder in 2008, the Tokyo Metro system put out a series of comical posters (in English and Japanese) titled…

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New Exhibit In Tokyo Explores The Fantastic Work Of Kyōsai–One Of Japan’s Greatest Artists

It’s nearly impossible to discuss Japanese art without mentioning the name Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889). One of Japan’s most unique and prominent painters, whose art may be distinguished in part thanks to his living through the tumultuous last days of the Tokugawa regime and into the Meiji period. In many ways, his paintings, which range from rich Buddhist imagery to satirical animal caricatures, can be considered a shining example of the creativity and humor produced from uncertain times. Kawanabe Kyōsai, Hell Courtesan and Ikkyu, 1871-89, Ink and color and gold on silk, Israel Goldman Collection, London Photo: Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University Kyōsai studied under the tutelage of ukiyo-e master Utagawa…

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Classic Manga “Space Battleship Yamato” And “Galaxy Express 999” Are Making A Comeback As Original Ukiyo-e Paintings

Classic Japanese manga and anime are often reincarnated in HD, brand new sequels, and even into gorgeous ukiyo-e artwork. More modern series like One Piece, Dragon Ball, and Pokémon have also been captured in authentic woodblock prints, but this time, it’s artwork from creator Leiji Matsumoto’s Space Battleship Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, and Space Pirate Captain Harlock that’s been transferred into traditional Japanese art. Source: Broad Expert The Leiji Matsumoto Ukiyo-e Collection consists of 6 original ukiyo-e artwork directed under the supervision of the world-renowned creator himself. Familiar characters from three of his most prominent works appear as unique woodblock prints, giving fans the chance to appreciate their favorite manga…

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Iron Maiden Ukiyo-e Art Turns Eddie Into A Savage Killer Of Edo Period Japan

We’ve seen modern day Ukiyo-e, traditional Japanese woodblock prints, artists look to famous rock musicians for inspiration in their work to help rejuvenate interest in the art form in the past. Thanks to the UKIYO-E PROJECT, a project headed by Mitsui Agency International CEO Yuka Mitsui, we’ve been gifted with incredibly badass Ukiyo-e prints inspired by KISS, and more recently Iron Maiden’s Eddie as a courtesan from the depths of Hell. Now Iron Maiden’s sinister mascot is back as a blood-soaked sword-wielding killer who decapitates at will with this brutal and epic Ukiyo-e piece! Source: Ukiyo-e Project The title of the piece, which features Eddie as a ruthless killer (the…

11:58 AM


Pretty Sake Glass Set With Japanese Traditional Ukiyo-e Cat Illustrations

Here’s your chance to enjoy sake, cats, and ukiyo-e art all in one go. These Edo Neko Glasses feature feline designs illustrated by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, a Japanese ukiyo-e master artist and a tremendous cat lover. There are three different Edo cat glass designs. A cat doing a traditional Japanese dance while wearing a hachimaki headband. shopishizuka A cat just…sitting there. Because that’s what cats do! shopishizuka Cat dressed as a samurai playing Kemari, a traditional Japanese ball game. shopishizuka It also comes with a masu cup, a box that you traditionally place your sake glass in, and then let it catch the overflowing sake. You drink from both! shopishizuka Each…

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100 Scenic Ukiyo-e Paintings By Hasui Kawase Are Now Available For Free Download

Named a Living National Treasure in Japan in 1956, artist Hasui Kawase changed the world of ukiyo-e woodblock paintings and hanga prints as one of the most prominent print designers of the shin-hanga (new prints) movement. Now almost 60 years since his death in 1957, his works are in the public domain and are available for free download. Throughout his artistic career from the Taisho to Showa Periods, Kawase’s artwork mostly consisted of landscapes and townscape prints of areas he traveled to throughout Tokyo and the rest of Japan. 100 of such works appear in two art books that can now easily be purchased on iBooks, allowing traditional Japanese art…

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Japanese Legendary Great Wave Woodblock Print Now Available As Tokyo License Plates

Japan has strong vehicle regulations, so aesthetic customization of cars, such as colorful license plates, can be difficult. Despite allowing LED lights shining under the wheel, and real-life Mario Karts spotted driving through Akihabara, plate backgrounds remain plain and white. Recently, the regulation has loosened up in the Sumida ward of Tokyo, specifically for vehicle owners with a 50cc or smaller engine. The exception comes via the powerful name of Hokusai, Japan’s most famous and prolific ukiyo-e woodblock print artist, and Sumida’s pride and joy. His most famous and celebrated work, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa is now eligible as a license palte decoration. The masterpiece is instantly recognizable even…

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Ukiyo-e Star Wars Prints Give The Force A Boost With Traditional Japanese Artwork

The world’s favorite galactic adventure, Star Wars, has influence rooted in film depictions of early Japan, as is explored by a recent documentary on Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, so the two have a natural affinity when it comes to artistic collaborations. Just last year, we saw a crowd-funded artistic collaboration that produced amazing high quality Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Star Wars universe, which re-imagined beloved Star Wars characters with a traiditional Japanese artwork aesthetic that just seems too perfect a fit. Now a second set have come out, which show off Darth Maul, Boba Fett, and the Millenium Falcon in the awesome ukiyo-e style of early Japanese artwork. If…

11:57 AM


Scenes From Pokémon Merge With Traditional Art In Stunning Woodblock Prints

Pop culture and traditional Japanese ukiyo-e have often been merged in efforts to provoke the interest of the younger generation toward woodblock paintings, an art form with over 400 years of history. Following the footsteps of works featuring characters like Captain America and Hatsune Miku, the Pokémon Center in Japan has created two beautifully crafted ukiyo-e paintings showing familiar scenes from the legendary franchise. This collaboration between the traditional art form and Pokémon introduces a scene from Vermillion City, as well as a battle scene between Snorlax and Pikachu. Kanto Region’s Vermillion City In this scenery of Vermillion City, you’ll find monsters like Bulbasaur, Tentacool, Eevee, and Charmander against a…

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Fans Can Now Purchase Moyoco Anno’s Artwork Reproduced As Ukiyo-e Paintings

Japanese manga artist and fashion writer Moyoco Anno was recently the main feature of Parco Museum’s STRIP! Portfolio 1996-2016 art exhibition, and while you won’t be able to see her works on display at the museum anymore, you can purchase her artwork as ukiyo-e paintings and start your own gallery at home. Source: Moyoco Anno Official Web Store Source: Moyoco Anno Official Web Store The two works now on sale are a painting of Kiyoha, the protagonist of Anno’s Sakuran, and another painting titled Peony, which comprises a part of Anno’s Parfums Series, a collection of illustrations inspired by various aromas. Both had originally been sold at the gift shop…

1:56 PM


Hatsune Miku Reimagined As Edo Kimono Girl In Traditional Ukiyo-e Painting

Iconic figures in modern pop culture — from American rock band KISS to Captain America — have recently been making their way onto traditional Japanese artwork with the help of talented craftsmen throughout Japan. And soon, virtual idol Hatsune Miku will be joining them as traditional Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock artwork. Illustrated and created by Hobby Stock, the new ukiyo-e painting will present Hatsune Miku not as her usual 3D hologram self, but in a beautiful, bright kimono standing in front of Mt. Fuji and Nihon-bashi during the Edo Period. It’s an altogether different look from the Hatsune Miku most people know, and a charming one at that. Source: Hobby Stock…

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Ukiyo-e Rendition Of Civil War Puts A Samurai Twist On Captain America And Iron Man

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Japan were treated to a pleasant surprise when, after developing a reputation for delayed theatrical releases, when Captain America: Civil War actually hit Japanese movie theaters before the U.S. release. Now for a little aftermath fun, we can enjoy another cool Japanese twist on the superhero battle with this awesome ukiyo-e rendition of Iron Man and Captain America clashing. 浮世絵シビルウォー描いてしまった#シビルウォー #CivilWar pic.twitter.com/V0C27U0CmP — TAKUMI™ (@takumitoxin) 2016年5月12日 The picture comes courtesy of Japanese Twitter user and illustrator @takumitoxin (Takumi). It’s a beautifully drawn picture that blends the two iconic Marvel superheroes into the aesthetic of traditional Japanese woodblock prints as seamlessly as possible. Takumi…

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