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What are Kuchi-e?

Brimming with wistful beauties and romantic allusions, kuchi-e, literally translated to "mouth pictures" or "opening pictures," served as frontispiece illustrations for popular novels and literary magazines from the 1890s through the 1910s. Bound or inserted within the text, these images transcended simple illustration to capture the characters, atmosphere and sentiment of each story as a whole.

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Shin Hanga & Hasui Kawase

In Shin Hanga & Hasui Kawase, 2018 summer intern Mei Bock explores the Shin Hanga, or "new print," movement of the twentieth century as well as one of it's movement's most important artists, Hasui Kawase.

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What is Sosaku Hanga?

In the early 20th century, two distinct modern Japanese print movements emerged. The Sosaku Hanga movement honed in on the artist and the process of making. The knife, the ink, the block, the paper—each material was integral to the artist's experience. This emphasis on the individual and artistic autonomy matured throughout the movement and continues to course throughout the Japanese printmaking community today.

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Japonisme: The Great Wave

The 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle exposed many Europeans to Japan for the first time. From subjects to style, Japanese prints had a profound impact on French printmaking at the turn of the century.

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What is Kappazuri?

In honor of our very special Yoshitoshi Mori (1898–1992) exhibition, this week we'd like to focus on kappazuri, an innovative stencil printing technique that straddles the boundary of art and traditional craft.

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Imagining Japan: Early Japanese Photography

The history of photography in Japan begins during the Edo period. Introduced through the Dutch merchants that inhabited Dejima Island in Nagasaki Bay, the medium attracted an initially small, but intrigued audience. Following the Meiji Restoration, the popularity of photography surpassed that of woodblock prints.

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Advancements in Japanese Photography from the Edo Period

Photography first arrived in Japan during the Edo period when Dutch merchants inhabited Nagasaki Bay. Many early Japanese photographers went to study in Nagasaki and in 1854 Kawamoto Komin published Ensei-Kikijutsu, the first book in Japanese about photographic techniques.

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