Japanese Woodblock Prints (1800 - 1868)
By the 19th century, Japanese woodblock prints achieved extraordinary popularity. While the shogunate issued a battery of censorship reforms throughout the 1800s, artists ignored and evaded restrictions with images of indulgent beauties and vibrant kabuki actors. As constraints tightened in the 1840s, bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) became earthier in prints by Eizan and Eisen, while kabuki actors persevered in the work of Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III). During this period, ukiyo-e artists also added landscapes, warriors, ghosts and scenes of everyday life to their oeuvre. Artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige indulged a national wanderlust through Meisho-e or “famous place pictures,” while Kuniyoshi championed musha-e, a genre of warrior and legendary pictures.
Sekigahara: Hanaregoma Chokichi and Nuregami Chogoro
Nihonbashi: Ashikaga Yorikane, Narukami Katsunosuke, and Ukiyo Tohei
Sumo Wrestlers Shiranui Dakuemon (center left), Tsurugizan Taniemon (center right), with Referee Shikimori Inosuke (left) and Judge Retired Wrestler Miyagino (right)
Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Endo Musha: Poem by Fujiwara no Nakafumi
Plum Garden at Omurai: The Seven Plants of Autumn