Edo period

Strict feudal rule and a rising middle class characterizes this period.

1615 - 1868

videos + essays

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Beyond the Great Wave — Hokusai at 90
Beyond the Great Wave — Hokusai at 90

A fisherman and a woodcutter — at age 90, the great Japanese artist Hokusai painted these moving images of contentment.

Utagawa Kunisada I, <em>Visiting Komachi</em>, from the series <em>Modern Beauties as the Seven Komachi</em>
Utagawa Kunisada I, Visiting Komachi, from the series Modern Beauties as the Seven Komachi

In this example of ukiyo-e, the artist represents a modern woman in the guise of Komachi, a legendary poetess.

Ogata Kōrin, <em>Red and White Plum Blossoms</em>
Ogata Kōrin, Red and White Plum Blossoms

Combining metallic curls with mottled color, Kôrin’s screens capture the pulsing vitality of early spring.

Hokusai, <em>Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave)</em>
Hokusai, Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave)

Perhaps the most iconic image in Japanese art, this woodblock print inspired many Western artists—including Monet.

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