Ukiyo-e(浮世絵: Floating World Picture)
Ukiyo-e became popular in the middle of the 18th century, along
with the popularity of Kabuki (歌舞伎)
and new printing technology. It became possible to print full color pictures and Suzuki
Harunobu created the full color Nishiki-e (錦絵）prints, he drew pictures of beautiful women with good detailed backgrounds.
Kitagawa Utamara was skilled at the
O-kubi-e showing women from the waist up. These portraits often used backgrounds with
sparkling mica, they are powerful and sensual pictures.
Toshusai Sharaku used his skills to depict the characters of the
Kabuki theater. HE produced 150 pictures from Kabuki plays in Edo between 1794 and 1795.
During the 19th century, there were many inferior prints produced
on the topics already mentioned. Katsushika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige develped a new theme. Hokusai became famous for his 36
views of Mount Fuji and other tourist site. Hiroshige is well-known
for his 53 stations on the Tokaido and
69 stations on the Kisokaido. These series of pictures portray Japanese scenery and
the sights of travelers.
Many Ukiyo-e found themselves in Europe influencing Monet, Van
Degas and other impressionists.