Sanyo Ukiyo-E

Ukiyo-E deck published by Sanyo Enterprise Co. Ukiyo-E (浮世絵; Japanese pronunciation: [u.ki.jo.e]) was a Japanese genre of painting and woodblock printing with subjects typical of the decadent lifestyle of the middle classes from the 17th century to the 19th century. Their entertainment was the Geishas and the Sumo wrestling and often Courtesans. The Ukiyo-E, which means floating world or world in the clouds, depicted these interests with pictures of the Geishas and Courtesans as beautiful women and the Kabuki actors and Sumo wrestlers as heroes. The natural world was also depicted by some of the artists. See the information leaflet

Ukiyo-e deck by Sanyo Enterprises from 1980s

Above: Ukiyo-E deck by Sanyo Enterprise Co, Tokyo, 1980s.

UTAMARO (1753-1806) created woodblock prints of beautiful women and the Utamaro playing cards show details from some of his works.

HIROSHIGE (1797-1858) is considered to be the last of the great Ukiyo-E masters. Hiroshige was most famous for his 53 stations of the Tokaido (East Sea) Road. He avoided beautiful women and concentrated on the Kabuki actors and Geishas for his human subjects but he mainly produced landscapes. The Tokaido was the main highway in Japan going from Edo (now called Tokyo) to Kyoto a distance of 450 km on the island of Honshu. In the 17th century the government set up 53 stations along the route with stables and somewhere to sleep for travellers to rest during their journey. It is still the busiest highway in Japan today. See Hiroshige Ukiyo-e deck

Last Updated November 14, 2020 at 09:41pm

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