Meiji Period Prints (1868-1912)

Meiji-period woodblock prints reflect an era of change. In 1853, the arrival of Commodore Perry’s black ships brought over 250 years of Japanese isolation to an abrupt end. The following year, as Japan engaged in international trade, Yokohama-e (Yokohama pictures) captured an influx of unfamiliar peoples, places and things entering Japan through Yokohama harbor. By 1868, the Imperial line attained control of the country under Emperor Meiji, terminating the feudal rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate and dissipating the culture of the floating world. Under the emperor, national modernization progressed rapidly. From Western-style clothes and pastimes, to exciting new inventions from overseas, Japan absorbed the massive influx of the foreign and developed a distinctly Japanese modern identity. While photography and lithography gained popularity at this time, the woodblock print continued to serve as a powerful medium. Meiji period artists made sense of a transitioning world with a familiar medium.

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Eleventh Act from Chushingura

Yoshitoshi

Eleventh Act from Chushingura

JPR-209590

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Preface from Chushingura

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Preface from Chushingura

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Twelfth Act from Chushingura

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Twelfth Act from Chushingura

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Pulling Young Pines on the Day of the Rat

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Pulling Young Pines on the Day of the Rat

JPR-209587

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Kyumonryu Shishin, One of the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden

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Kyumonryu Shishin, One of the 108 Heroes of the Suikoden

JPR-209584

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Daruma of Enlightenment

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Daruma of Enlightenment

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Kintaro Captures the Giant Carp

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Kintaro Captures the Giant Carp

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Angel Retrieving the Hagoromo (Heavenly Cloak) at Miho)

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Angel Retrieving the Hagoromo (Heavenly Cloak) at Miho)

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Sun Wukong Creating an Army from His Fur

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Sun Wukong Creating an Army from His Fur

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Soga Tokimune Rides Bareback at a Gallop to Oiso

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Soga Tokimune Rides Bareback at a Gallop to Oiso

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The Diving Woman of Shido Bay

Yoshitoshi

The Diving Woman of Shido Bay

JPR-209574

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Okame Laughing at the Silhouette of a Matsutake Mushroom

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Okame Laughing at the Silhouette of a Matsutake Mushroom

JPR-209573

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Ono no Tofu Watching a Frog

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Ono no Tofu Watching a Frog

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Bats in the Fifth Act [of Chushingura]

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Bats in the Fifth Act [of Chushingura]

JPR-209568

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Hiding the Head but Not the Butt

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Hiding the Head but Not the Butt

JP-208825

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A Serpent Comes Out of the Ash Container

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A Serpent Comes Out of the Ash Container

JP-208824

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Flower on a Withered Tree, Strolling Like a Dog on the River

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Flower on a Withered Tree, Strolling Like a Dog on the River

JP-208823

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Oxen Prefer the Company of Oxen, Botange Shohaku, The Lovers of the Tanabata Festival, Sugawara Michizane and Kodomaru

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Oxen Prefer the Company of Oxen, Botange Shohaku, The Lovers of the Tanabata Festival, Sugawara Michizane and Kodomaru

JP-208822

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Even Pigeons Roost at Different Heights According to Seniority; Even Crows Show Filial Piety When the Young Feed Their Parents

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Even Pigeons Roost at Different Heights According to Seniority; Even Crows Show Filial Piety When the Young Feed Their Parents

JP-208821

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Flowers Sprouting from Dried Beans, Getting a Headache from Worrying about Your Neighbor's Digestion

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Flowers Sprouting from Dried Beans, Getting a Headache from Worrying about Your Neighbor's Digestion

JP-208820

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The Fruit of the Tree Is Known from Its Flowers, Fighting Like Dogs and Monkeys

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The Fruit of the Tree Is Known from Its Flowers, Fighting Like Dogs and Monkeys

JP-208819

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Hateful Things Are Feared by the World, A Crow Imitating a Cormorant

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Hateful Things Are Feared by the World, A Crow Imitating a Cormorant

JP-208818

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A Day Late for the Festival: No Curse from the God You Don't Touch

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A Day Late for the Festival: No Curse from the God You Don't Touch

JP-208816

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A Bell Hanging from a Lantern, Three People Together are as Wise as the Bodhisattva Monju

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A Bell Hanging from a Lantern, Three People Together are as Wise as the Bodhisattva Monju

JP-208815

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