Saturday, October 9, 2010

28 Fantastic Hokusai Woodblock Prints from Old Edo Period Japan

One of my favorite thing about Japan are the old woodblock prints by the masters like Hokusai.
Woodblock printing in Japan (Japanese木版画moku hanga) is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre; however, it was also used very widely for printing books in the same period. Woodblock printing had been used in China for centuries to print books, long before the advent of movable type, but was only widely adopted in Japan surprisingly late, during the Edo period (1603-1867). The technique is essentially the same as that which is calledwoodcut in Western printmaking.


Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, October or November 1760 – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artistukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.
Hokusai self-portrait
Hokusai created the "Thirty-Six Views" both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both within Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Laneconcludes, "Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai's name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series...". While Hokusai's work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition and left a lasting impact on the art world. It was also The Great Wave print that initially received, and continues to receive, acclaim and popularity in the Western world. 
Here are twenty-eight marvelous Hokusai for your viewing pleasure:
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Besides the very famous ones we all know, Hokusai also did some very sexually orientated items too! This first one might explain the bizarre Japanese obsession with sex and tentacles in today's anime!
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See more Hokusai here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This first one might explain the bizarre Japanese obsession with sex and tentacles in today's anime!"

hahaah XD! yes,but if you compare Hokusai´s with the modern hentai,you will observe it(hentai) is full filled with violence: rapes,bondages....you won´t see it in Hokusai´s work(or in any other shunga,but i may be wrong...)

About moku hanga,i read once(book in our library about screen printing) that it is not the only one technique used,silkscreen was popular as well and many works have been reviwed because the researches think it is silkscreen made not moku hanga...have you heard about this or that´s just speculation?

Maria

Anonymous said...

Ang taray mo naman! Binabahagi lang naman ng blogger ang kaalaman niya ukol dito, kulang ka lang sa kantot, pa kalembang ka kaya sa mga Hapon