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Japanese Woodblock Print Database | Ukiyo-e Search

Starting in the early 1700s and exploding in popularity throughout the 1800s, Japanese woodblock prints depicted the fantastic world of Kabuki actors, courtesans, warriors, and nature. Ever since then keeping track of all of the incredible artwork has been a pain, traipsing between dealer and museum websites, awkwardly shuffling through academic library 'websites', wandering aimlessly through GIS, not to mention all the trouble a patron had to go through to see these before the Internets. Well, The Japanese Woodblock Print Database aggregates prints from a number of museums, dealers, and auction houses into a single resource, searchable by keyword and by image, and thereby provides a shining example of web-accessible art database interface. Enjoy! [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 7, 2013 - 20 comments

Ukiyo-e Heroes

Illustrator Jed Henry and woodblock printmaker David Bull recently collaborated on a set of videogame-inspired woodblock prints in the ukiyo-e style. Just recently funded through Kickstarter, the prints are already underway. There are videos of the creative process here and at the bottom of the first link.
posted by gilrain on Aug 31, 2012 - 53 comments

Namazu-e: Earthquake catfish prints

"In November 1855, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck the city of Edo (now Tokyo), claiming 7,000 lives and inflicting widespread damage. Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (lit. "catfish pictures") became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish (namazu) who, according to popular legend, caused earthquakes by thrashing about in their underground lairs. In addition to providing humor and social commentary, many prints claimed to offer protection from future earthquakes."
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 8, 2011 - 19 comments

Nyanto mo Neko Darake (Cats of Many Varieties)

Nyanto mo Neko Darake (Cats of Many Varieties) is an exhibition in Kyoto featuring charming Edo-period (19th century) woodblock images of cats: playful cats forming themselves into the Japanese word for "blowfish," giant monster heads and skulls made of intertwining cats, ghost cats seeking vengeance. [more inside]
posted by shirobara on Nov 18, 2010 - 6 comments

The Cubic Permutations of Curtis Steiner

Curtis Steiner is a Seattle businessman and artist who operates a local gift shop. Both his home and his shop have garnered positive press, but his greatest artistic achievement may be his piece entitled 1,000 blocks, which explores the permutations of the six facets of the cube.
posted by Tube on Dec 21, 2008 - 30 comments

Nobody knows Emperors and Queens more intimately

Pictures of 100 poems by 100 poets, explained by a Wet Nurse - Hokusai's pictures describe what the poems do in the head of a wet nurse. With high resolution scans.
posted by tellurian on Jun 29, 2008 - 9 comments

News Nishikie

News Nishikie. The art of Meiji mayhem. 'Graphic true stories from Japan as portrayed and reported by woodblock artists and writers '
posted by plep on Aug 12, 2005 - 8 comments

Busting your ass CAN pay off

Becoming a '??' (tradesman) in Japan. A 'gaijin' entrepreneur has been detailing his woodblock printing craft and business in a self-published quarterly journal over the past 15+ years. I found his series of autobiographical essays to be a very worthwhile read, reminiscent of Pirsig's first novel for some reason.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Apr 8, 2005 - 13 comments

Hanga

Hanga Gallery: Side Gallery of Woodblock Prints. Actor, bijin-ga, landscape and wildlife prints, categorised by artist, with informative articles (for example, the articles on Toshi Yoshida and Yoshijiro Urushibara).
posted by plep on Jan 26, 2004 - 4 comments

Hiroshige

The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige. Images and essays - a treat for ukiyo-e fans.
Also good for ukiyo-e admirers :- Universes in Collision: Men and Women in 19th Century Japanese Prints; and Hiroshige: A Shoal of Fishes.
posted by plep on Jun 14, 2003 - 4 comments

The Kunisada Project

The Kunisada Project, dedicated to one of the greatest ukiyo-e artists.
posted by plep on Mar 16, 2003 - 4 comments

Frans

Frans Masereel - a great woodcut artist, pioneer of the wordless novel. You can see all of his 1925 Die Stadt (The City) and Landscapes and Voices (1929) at Graphic Witness (Though his Passionate Journey is one of my favorite books.) "First published in Germany in 1925 The City is a portrait of urban Europe between the wars, told in one hundred woodcuts of exceptional force and beauty. Frans Masereel portrays parks and factories, shipyards and brothels, crowds, lovers, and lonely individuals with remarkable subtlety and nuance while exploiting the stark contrast of the woodcut medium.
posted by vacapinta on Aug 21, 2002 - 8 comments

Look no further than John Fiorillo's Viewing of Japanese Prints for the definitive online resource on the art. Covering over three centuries of Japanese print making from Ukiyo-e through Shin Hanga and SĂ´saku Hanga, Viewing has detailed histories and critiques of the artists, including such legendary masters as Katsushika Hokusai. The site also includes a wealth of information on the artform itself, with essays on topics as varied as the deciphering of prints and the various forms of poetry found on them, as well as archival notes on print fading. Have a question for the man himself? Shogun Gallery's discussion board is one of his favorite haunts, where he helps users with questions ranging from signature identification to the allusions found within a specific print. Given the wealth of information and beauty of the work, this site's a treasure.
posted by J. R. Hughto on Jul 31, 2002 - 9 comments

"To this day, the illustrations march right off the page" describes a rare book published in 1493 found in a Maine farmhouse. The book is illustrated with more than 1,800 exquisite pictures made from woodcuts. Where will they find my rare digital photo in 500 years and will they say "it marches off the CD-ROM" or "data-error.. should have used wood block"
posted by stbalbach on Mar 10, 2002 - 5 comments

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