Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) are Japanese woodblock prints which flourished during the Edo Period (1603-1867). They originated as popular culture in Edo (present day Tokyo) and depicted popular geisha, sumo wrestlers and kabuki actors from the world of entertainment. Ukiyo-e, literally “paintings of the floating world”, were so named because their subjects were associated with impermanence and detachment from ordinary life.
At first ukiyo-e were monochrome, but by the mid 18th century polychrome prints were made. The woodblock printing technique enabled mass production which meant affordability, and therefore led to the popularity of these prints. New genres of ukiyo-e such as short story compilations and paintings of landscapes or historical events later became well received. The beginning of the 19th century saw the emergence of several outstanding ukiyo-e artists like Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro, who created famous prints that are celebrated to this day.
cited from Japan guide com
1 Artist:Katsushika Hokusai Title:Fine Wind, Clear Morning — 凱風快晴
2 Artist:Katsushika Hokusai Title:Ariwara no Narihira Date:c. 1835 – 1836
3 Artist:Katsushika Hokusai Title:”The Manor’s Dishes” Date:1831-1832
4 rtist:Utagawa Kuniteru Title:「佐藤数江守正清」 Date:1867
5 Kikugawa Eizan Title:Cherry Blossoms in the Eastern Capital: A Visit to the Daishi Temple in Ueno (Tôto no hana Ueno Daishi môde) Date:Japanese, Edo period