Featured Articles

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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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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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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Yoshitoshi Mori (1898-1992)

Ronin Gallery is pleased to represent the private collection of the Mori family estate in the exhibition Yoshitoshi Mori (1898–1992). From kappazuri-e and woodblock prints, to the artist’s sketchbook and select original paintings, this exhibition explores the diverse oeuvre of this pivotal member of the Japanese sosaku hanga, or “new print,” movement. Many pieces in this unique collection are one-of-a-kind.

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The Burning Question: How many prints Were made?

When discussing Japanese woodblock prints, there is one question sure to come up: How many prints were made? While a simple question, the answer is complex.

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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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HOKUSAI: Great Art, Small Sizes

Before the Great Wave crested white and Red Fuji broke the horizon, Hokusai's petite masterpieces whispered their intricate detail with an enchanting intimacy. Ronin Gallery is pleased to present a collection of these early works, dating between 1790 and 1822.

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Ten Onsen to Visit in Japan

With the high level of volcanic activity in Japan, it is no surprise that the country boasts many natural hot springs. While there are many options for experiencing onsen culture, we've selected ten of the most popular onsen in Japan today.

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Ronin Gallery at the Morikami Museum

Ronin Gallery is proud to have collaborated with the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on their exhibition, Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World. The exhibition contextualized the Japanese tattoo tradition through the inclusion of ukiyo-e and original works of art by Horiyoshi III.

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Horiyoshi III on Vice

After our exhibition Taboo: Ukiyo-e and the Japanese Tattoo earlier this year, we at Ronin Gallery are thrilled to see Japan's foremost tattoo artist, Horiyoshi III, featured on VICE.

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BAN HUA: Chinese Woodblock Prints Post-1980

Ronin Contemporary is pleased to present Ban Hua: Chinese Woodblock Prints Post-1980, an exhibition exploring some of China's most exciting contemporary printmakers. The works on view come both from an important European collection and straight from the studio of the innovative artist Gu Zhijun.

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Ink, Banditry and Bushido: Otokodate (Part 2)

Adapted from the 14th century Chinese classic, Shuihuzhuan (Stories of the Water Margin), the Suikoden resounded with Edo's emergent middle class. While these legendary characters starred on the page and stage, the otokodate brought the rebel warrior to life in the streets.

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Transposing Genji: From Prince to Playboy

As literacy soared during the 19th century, Murasaki Shikibu's 11th century classic Tale of Genji enjoyed a renewed popularity. Yet it was not quite Murasaki's shining prince garnering the attention. Instead, the tale got a modern makeover through Ryutei Tanehiko's Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji (A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki).

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Brushes, Brooms and Talons: Tales of Hokusai

Hokusai possessed an inherent sense of drama and a flair for public spectacle. Though many of his early works take the delicate, intimate form of surimono (lavish, privately commissioned prints), the following tales reveal the boundless nature of his talents. Whether he painted with a brush, a broom, or rooster talons, Hokusai stunned his audience with his daring.

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Ink, Banditry, and Bushido: Introduction and the Hikeshi (Part 1)

The series Ink, Banditry and Bushido considers the contentious "champions of the common good." From the rambunctious hikeshi, to the libertine otokodate, to the modern yazkuza, this series weighs reality against the prevailing myths of these unconventional heroes.

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Collecting and Connoisseurship: The Art of Collecting

In order to curate a stunning collection of Japanese art, one must know how to properly evaluate a print.

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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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Musha-e: The Warriors of Ukiyo-e

From fierce samurai to legendary heroes, musha-e celebrate the Japanese warrior. Translating to "warrior pictures," this genre of ukiyo-e is marked by consistent fluidity between fact and fiction, truth and fable. As they conflate history, legend, literature and theater, these prints offer fantastic renderings of familiar characters from Japanese culture.

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Taboo: Ukiyo-e and the Japanese Tattoo eBook

Taboo: Ukiyo-e and the Japanese Tattoo explores the verboten world of irezumi (Japanese tattoo) across history and medium. The works of ukiyo-e masters Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, Kunisada and Kunichika celebrate the world of tattoo during the Edo and Meiji periods, while the original paintings and drawings of the acclaimed master of tebori and tattoo art, Horiyoshi III, offers a current interpretation of the centuries-old tradition.

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Spirit Resonance: A New World of Chinese Ink Painting

Ronin Gallery is pleased to present a curated selection of seven of the most exciting ink artists in China today. Working in a rapidly changing society, each artist plants his or her roots deep within the spiritual, material and expressive past of ink, color and paper. From the ethereal to the vibrant, these artists present a contemporary understanding of a timeless spirit.

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Winter Festivities in Japan

From 17th century to today, artists capture the quiet beauty of snow, the crisp blue of the winter sky, and the joy of cozying up as temperatures plummet. While winter brings artistic inspiration, it also heralds some exciting seasonal festivities! This week we'll look to some of the most popular winter customs and festivals in Japan.

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Masterworks of Hiroshige's Landscapes

From majestic landscapes to lively street scenes, Hiroshige's portrayal of the Japanese landscape not only illustrates the beauty of Japan during the four seasons, but also the dynamic life of the people who lived there. Ronin Gallery is pleased to present a collection of landscape prints selected from Hiroshige's most famous masterpiece series.

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Hideo Takeda: Genpei and World Night Tours

As one of Japan's most important creative minds, Takeda Hideo's work invariably speaks to audiences worldwide. As a satirist, cartoonist, printmaker, photographer, illustrator, comedian and provocateur, the only persistent qualities of Takeda's artistic output are flexibility, adaptation and surprise.

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