Japanese unique painting; Ukiyoe (Woodblock painting)

 There are variety of methods to paint and show the beauty of the nature through the paintings in the world.

 In the previous entry titled ” Japanese Unique painting; suiboku ga (Ink brush painting) “,  I have explained how Suiboku ga is painted, and how different from modern paintings.

 In this entry, I would like to introduce one more unique painting called “U-ki-yo-e”.

 Ukiyoe is the woodblock printing (depicting the ways of the world). The print will be made using woodblock and colors , one color at a time and it is very different from the way you will paint with the paint brush.

 Interesting thing is that, when you google “Ukiyoe”, 99% of the website written in English including wikipedia page describe that Ukiyoe is “picture of the floating world”.

 I have no idea what “floating world” is, but I think all of those writers of the articles on Ukiyoe must have simply translated literally how each Chinese character means.Therefore, they have come up with strange description of the genre of the painting description

 Anyway, Ukiyoe was the popular painting genre among common people during Edo period (1600-1868); Samurai era with Tokugawa clan, Oda clan, toyotomi clan etc .

 “Ukiyo” in Japanese means “pleasure seeking”, “sensual” and this the subject of the paintings called “Ukiyoe”.

 Therefore, when you look around the Ukiyoe, you would most likely find “bi-ji-n-ga; Portraits of beauties” ,which you see a woman wearing the Kimono in various posture, or “ya-ku-sha-e; portrait of actors”,which you see kabuki actors or “-fu-u-ke-i-ga; landscape pictures”.

How Ukiyoe is made..

 Ukiyoe is made very differently and very interesting to watch the progress.

 First, you would have a woodblock. Then, painter draws a draft and a wood copy.

 Then, Carver pastes the block copy on the block, then start engraving the block and make prints using only ink.

 After that,painter decides which colors to be used where on the print.

 Then, carver carves a block per color.

 Then, printer applies paint over the carved block with brush.

 Then, printer carefully place a paper over the block and scrubs the back of the paper with baren to transfer the paint onto the paper.

 Printer prints color by color till he finishes the print.

 Here is the youtube vide I came across. It tells all about Ukiyoe

Ukiyoe making

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Apr 06, 2014 | 0 | Japan

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