Ukiyo-e

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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Spring Showers

Rainy days envelop the senses, from sparkling reflections in the puddles and the steady drum of rain out the window, to the crisp smell of the air just before a storm and the sensation of cool mist against skin. As spring promises brings a change in the weather, we invite you to enjoy the beauty of rain from the warmth and comfort of your home.

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Hanami at Home

While a light chill may still hang in the air, the first blooms of delicate pink petals ensure us that spring has indeed arrived. Through this digital hanami, we invite you to explore splendor of cherry blossoms through artists' eyes.

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An Artist and His City: Getting Our Bearings

An Artist and His City invites you to explore Japan's feudal capital through the eyes of an local. But before we can explore Edo through Hiroshige's eyes, let's orient ourselves in Edo, the city at hand.

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A Closer Look: Moon of the Lonely House

From vengeful ghosts to mythical creatures, Japanese folklore teems with spine-chilling tales of the supernatural. Yet, sometimes it's the horrors enacted by humans that prove to be the most terrifying. This Halloween, we'll take a look at one such story through Yoshitoshi's Moon of the Lonely House.

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Tsukimi and the Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, which generally occurs in the third week of September. In Japan, the beauty of this special moon is celebrated with tsukimi, or "moon viewing."

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A Closer Look: The Yugao Chapter from The Tale of Genji

In The Yugao Chapter from the Tale of Genji, Yoshitoshi portrays the most mysterious of Genji's many lovers.

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Yoshitoshi's Masterpiece: The Flute Player

Yoshitoshi's Fujiwara no Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight is considered to be one of Yoshitoshi's definitive masterpieces and has its own interesting history. From the 1880s through today, the design has entranced collectors with its portrayal of the tale of a moonlit evening, banditry, and the power of beauty. We'll take a brief look into the history and variant states of this famous design.

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Haunted at Sea: The Tale of Yoshitsune and the Taira Ghosts

In the triptych Taira Ghosts Attacking Yoshitsune in Daimotsu Bay (1849-1852) , Kuniyoshi presents the legend of Yoshitsune and the vengeful ghosts of the Taira clan.

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The Tale of the 47 Ronin

The celebrated tale of the 47 loyal retainers stems from the historical event known as the Ako incident (1701-1704). Continuously illustrated, adapted, parodied, and performed since its occurrence at turn of the 18th century, this tale of loyalty provided irresistible inspiration for ukiyo-e artists.

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A Closer Look: Hokusai's Great Wave

No single work of Japanese art is better known than Hokusai's Under the Wave off Kanagawa, or, as it is widely known, the Great Wave.Published as part of the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (c.1830-1832), today this design has become embedded in popular culture, appearing everywhere from phone cases and emojis, to murals and political cartoons.

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How to Make a Woodblock Print

The printing process of can be hard to imagine in abstract. Let's turn to a work by Harunobu (1725-1770), father of nishiki-e, to explore the printing the printing process a block at time.

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A Closer Look: Jade Rabbit and Sun Wukong

Songoku, the Monkey King, or Sun Wukong in Chinese, is the hero of the 16th century Chinese novel The Journey to the West. Yoshitoshi presents this legendary monkey in this design from One Hundred Views of the Moon.

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The Tale of the Nine-Tailed Fox

Popular characters in Japanese myths and folklore, foxes, or kitsune, are considered intelligent, magical and associated with the Shinto spirit Inari. The enduring tale of Tamamo-no-Mae and the Emperor Konoe serves as a cautionary tale about these mystical animals.

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The Rise and Resurgence of Meisho-e

From brilliant crimson leaves of the fall to the snow-tipped peak of Mount Fuji, the natural beauty of Japan enchants its visitors. During the 19th century, ukiyo-e artists captured this beauty in spirit and form through meisho-e. By the 20th century, the genre found a distinctly modern voice and new masters through the Shin Hanga movement.

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What Makes a Print Rare?

If woodblock prints were produced in multiple, how can a print be rare? From natural disasters to the damage of use, the woodblock prints that exist today have beat the odds. With this in mind, all existing woodblock prints are rare. Yet, there are certain combinations of artist, printing technique, design, and condition that set certain impressions apart from the rest. We look to the collection for several examples of true rarity.

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Then and Now: Hiroshige's Landscapes

As a master of the landscape print, Hiroshige captures Edo-period Japan through series such as One Hundred Famous Views of Edo and Famous Views of the 60-Odd Provinces. How have these famous places fared as destinations in the 21st century? Looking to four prints from the exhibition Hiroshige's Landscapes, let's check in.

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Considering Condition: When Can a Negative Become a Positive?

How many of the traits that traditionally depreciate a print's value actually preserved the work's overall value?

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