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A New Generation: Ichikawa Danjuro XIII

The name Ichikawa Danjuro is perhaps the most famous name on the kabuki stage, renowned for a dynamic acting style and iconic roles for more than three centuries. On October 31st, the name reached its thirteenth generation as Ichikawa Ebizo XI (né Horikoshi Takatoshi) succeeded to the name Ichikawa Danjuro XIII. He gave his first performance under his new name in the role of Musashibo Benkei in the play Kanjincho at the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo. Though officially announced in May 2020, the succession was postponed due to Covid-19 safety measures. Danjuro XIII succeeds his father, Ichikawa Danjuro XII, who died in 2013. At the same ceremony, the actor’s son Horikoshi Kangen made his kabuki debut under the name Ichikawa Shinnosuke VIII.

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A Brief Introduction to Ukiyo-e

While the mention of Japanese woodblock prints may call to mind lavish courtesans and dynamic actors, the roots of the medium can be traced to the 8th century. At this time, woodblock printmaking traveled east with Buddhism through China and Korea, to Japan. In 764, Empress Koken eagerly embraced this medium and commissioned the Hyakumanto Darani, or the “One Million Pagodas and Dharani Prayers.” Each wooden pagoda housed a dainty Buddhist sutra, printed as a declaration of devotion and a plea for atonement. The medium largely retained this religious association and spiritual function until the Edo period (1615-1868).

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Hokusai: Another Side of Genius Exhibition Catalog

From murals in London to postage stamps in Japan, Hokusai’s Great Wave (Under the Wave off Kanagawa) is one of the most recognizable works in the history of art. In its ubiquity, the image has become a shorthand for many things–not only for Japanese art or Japan, but also more abstractly, as an unstoppable force, a crashing cultural wave. But what is overlooked in the shadow of the wave?

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A Closer Look: Yorimasa and the Nue

From vengeful spirits to mischievous monsters, ukiyo-e teem with supernatural beings and spine-chilling tales. With Halloween upon us, we turn to one such tale–the story of Yorimasa and the nue–as told by two masters of the fearsome and fantastic, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi. The nue is a chimeral monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a badger (or tanuki), the legs of a tiger, and a hissing snake as a tail, depending on the source.

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Katsukawa: Early Masters of Kabuki Portraiture

Ronin Gallery invites you to step into the theatrical world of 18th-century kabuki. Katsukawa: Early Masters of Kabuki Portraiture presents the brightest stars of the kabuki stage through the eyes of the artists of the Katsukawa School. Named for its founder, Shunsho Katsukawa, this artistic lineage redefined the field of actor prints (yakusha-e) in the late 18th century.

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On Perspective

Through the use of perspective, artists can both shape our perception and challenge our understanding of the subject. Perspective can be used as a tool to depict lifelike qualities, but it also can also invite the viewer to see familiar things in new ways. The exhibition On Perspective explores the power of artistic perception. It asks: how does the way we look at a subject change our understanding of it? This post was written by Inez Olszewski during her 2021 summer internship at Ronin Gallery. We would like to thank Inez for all her hard work!

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Past and Present Convene on the Banks of Tokyo’s Koto Ward

As Tokyo prepared for a summer of international sporting events, the city completed an extensive construction of stadiums and venues around the metropolis to house the competitions. Bordered by the Sumida River to the west and Arakawa River to the east, the Koto Ward is home to the majority of the event locations, given its proximity to the Tokyo Bay and abundance of reclaimed land. The 45 districts of Koto-ku also encompass an area of the city rich in history, where many neighborhoods and landmarks date back to the Edo Period. Documented as one of the oldest hanamachi (geisha entertainment quarters) in Japan, the district of Fukagawa served as the backdrop for many notable ukiyo-e designs. In the print Fukagawa Susaki and Jumantsubo, Hiroshige presents an aerial view of the marshlands, looking northeast on a winter day. In View of the Sangen Teahouse in Snow at Fukagawa Hachiman Shrine in Toto (Edo), Kunisada captures a local beauty trudging through the snow.

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Meet the Judges of the Ronin Globus Onbeat Artist-in-Residence Program

Hiroshi Senju was born in Tokyo in 1958. He obtained a BFA and MFA from the Tokyo University of Arts. Senju has been awarded the onorable Mention at 46th La Biennale di Venezia in 1995, the the 4th Isamu Noguchi Award in 2017, 2018 Eagle on the World Award, 2021 The Imperial Prize and the Japan Art Academy Prize. Senju's work is in the collections of Shofuso(Philadelphia), Daitoku-ji Jukoin Temple, Yakushi-ji Temple, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA, Art Institute of Chicago (USA), and Kongobuji temple (Koyasan). He was the former president of Kyoto University of Art & Design and is presently a professor at Kyoto University of the Arts.

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Q+A with Sarah Brayer

Sarah Brayer is an internationally acclaimed artist who works in print and paper mediums. This May, we took a moment to catch up with her about her recent solo exhibition Inner Light at Kyoto’s Komyo-in Temple, her Luminosity series, and her latest book project.

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Meet the Artist-in-Residence Program Past Winners

Past participants of the Ronin Globus Onbeat Artist-in-Residence Program share their experiences with ONBEAT magazine.

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Q+A with Daryl Howard

This March, we took a moment to catch up with the Daryl Howard and chat about her lifetime of Japanese woodblock printmaking, her artistic practice, her pandemic-era explorations, and her latest projects.

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Spirit of the Stage: The Theatrical Prints of Kokei Tsuruya

In Spirit of the Stage: Kokei Tsuruya, we explore the career and artistic process of the woodblock print artist and modern master of actor portraiture, Kokei Tsuruya.

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New Perspectives: Shin Hanga Beauties

Ronin Gallery invites you to consider modern “pictures of beautiful women” with fresh eyes. Featuring the work of renowned artists such as Goyo, Kotondo, and Shinsui, this exhibition looks beyond nostalgic appeal to explore these prints as vital reflections of their cultural context.

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Ronin Gallery at Bryant Park Place

Learn about the forty year history of the Ronin Gallery and the making of our new home at Bryant Park Place.

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Iconic: Images of the Floating World

In celebration of the grand opening of our new gallery at Bryant Park Place, Ronin Gallery is pleased to present a carefully curated collection of Japanese woodblock prints in Iconic: Images of the Floating World. From Hokusai’s Great Wave to Kuniyoshi’s Skeleton Specter, this exhibition presents an unprecedented opportunity to experience some of the most influential designs of ukiyo-e together in a single exhibition.

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Q+A With Roni Neuer, Ronin Gallery Founder

As we launch our latest online exhibition Founder's Favorites, we took a moment to speak with Roni Neuer, Ronin Gallery founder and executive director, about her selected works, lifetime of collecting, and advice for new collectors.

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An Artist and His City: Urban Greenspace

In this installment of the Artist and His City series we'll step outside into one of Edo's urban greenspaces through this print Moon Pine, Ueno. This aged pine earned this name not only for the "full moon" created by the circled but also for the other phases of the moon visible in its form.

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An Artist and His City: Unseen Individuals

Now that we have our bearings in Edo, the second installment of the Artist and His City series takes us to a view of Asakusa Ricefields in the midst of the Torinomachi Festival.

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A Closer Look: Courtesan Wakaume From the Tamaya

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) was a true master of ukiyo-e. From his images of bugs to his renowned portraits of women, his works exude a subtle and elegant beauty. This Asia Week, Ronin Gallery is pleased to feature Utamaro's masterpiece, Courtesan Wakaume from the Tamaya in Edomachi 1-chome (c. 1793-1794).

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Looking Back: Four Years of the Ronin|Globus Artist-in-Residence Program

Though our 2020 program was delayed, we're commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Ronin|Globus Artist-in-Residence program with a look back at four successful years and our four wonderfully talented past program winners.

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