2016年5月29日日曜日

Ukiuyo-e Is a Media that Shows Us the lives of Edo People.

I went to an exhibition of Ukiyo-e or Japanese wood block printings entitled “Kuniyoshi Kunisada,” which was held at the Bunkamura Museum in Shibuya.

Ukiyo in Ukiyo-e originally means sorrow and short-lived(憂き), but the  meaning changed to buoyant(浮き浮き)as the society became stable and people started enjoying their lives in Edo, the largest city in Japan. 

The unique point of the exhibition is that the curator emphasizes the similarity of people in Edo and the people of today. 

Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Utagawa Kunisada, who were the top two the most popular ukiyo-e artists in Edo, vividly depicted the lives of Edo people.  Through their works, we can see Edo people are the same or more when it comes to appreciating the joy of everyday.  

The style of the two artists is quite different.  Kuniyoshi took the men by storm with his dynamic images of warriors and his bold compositions, while Kunisada intrigued women with his beautiful portraits of women. 

I feel that their ukiyo-e are like fashion magazines.  In  Kuniyoshi’s magazinesUkiyo-e, there comes a young man wearing a skull pattern kimono.  He looks like a punkish guy of the era.  In Kunisada’s fashion magazines, dazzling kabuki actors must have captured women fans. 

It’s funny and interesting to realize we of today are still doing the same things as the people 150 years ago.  The Edo period is not so long ago. 

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