Monthly Archives: December 2015

The art of Japanese Woodprint: Ukiyo-E


Ukiyo-e or better known with its English name “Pictures of the floating world” is a japananese art style flourished during the 17th to the 18th century. The artwork is created using different color of chinese ink and printed on a wood block. Most of the artwork depicts Japanese female wearing traditional clothes and sceneries that are inspired by Japanese agriculture. The art of Ukiyo-E has also inspire modern cultures such as manga and modern comic illustration, famous videogame “okami” is an example of an ukiyo-e inspired game design. When describing the art style of ukiyo-e people describe it as a simple Japanese illustration using bold monochromatic colors according to wikipedia. Ukiyo-e has been describe as an art style that defines Japanese art from foreign perspective.

Ukiyo-E has gain international attention thanks to the work of “Hokusai” the artist behind the ukiyo-e artwork “The Great Wave Of Kanagawa” which is very famous due to the style of drawing the waves of the water.

“Great Wave of Kanagawa” Hokusai

How ukiyo-e artwork is made:

There are two types of artist when creating an ukiyo-e artwork, One is the one who carved the woodblock and one who specialize on inking the artwork. Both job can’t be done easily and it takes years to master these techniques. These technique has been passed down from generation to generation until it reaches the present time which ukiyo-e illustration has been applied in modern artwork and commercial.