Spring Special Exhibition Masterworks of Ukiyo-e from the Kawasaki Isago no Sato Museum, Japani

Exhibit Period

Part 1:April 22 (Fri) - May 22(Sun), 2011
Part 2: May 27 (Fri)- June 26 (Sun), 2011

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Organized by

The Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art

Museum closed

April 25; May 6, 9, 16; May 23-26 (Display Change), May 30; June 6, 13, 20

Admission Fee

Adults: 700 (630) yen High School, College Students: 400 (360) yen * Fees in parentheses are group rates for 20 or more visitors. * Free admission for visitors 70 years old and older, and children junior high school aged and younger. * Half price for visitors with a disability certificate, and half price for one accompanying caregiver.


Ukiyo-e was born in the womb of early modern period genre art painted in the 16th-17th Centuries. The term gukiyoh was a newly coined word derived from a Buddhist term yusei, which means to live hedonistically in the present world?from which it came to refer to popular fashions.

Once the government of Edo Shogunate had stabilized in the Genroku years of the Edo Period (1688-1703), people began to enjoy the new peace by going out to visit the Kabuki theater, the pleasure quarters, and shrines, temples & other famous locations in the Edo area. Consequently, these places came to be depicted as subjects in ukiyo-e art. Hishikawa Moronobu (?-1694) is today called the father of ukiyo-e. He became a popular artist for his unique style of painting, woodblock illustration, single-plate woodblock prints, and other artwork, and this drove up the prices of ukiyo-e sold for aesthetic appreciation. All kinds of artists followed Moronobufs lead, each producing works in his own unique style.

The brocade woodblock prints which Suzuki Harunobu and others innovated were passed out at the print exchange parties that became popular beginning in 1746, the first year of the Meiwa Period (1746-72). Harunobu completed a style of print featuring neat, petite and slender female figures; he innovated a variety of techniques including bokashi shading, pigment-less impressions, and the jitsubushi background color technique. After Harunobu, many art factions emerged, innovating a variety of techniques and designs in a spirit of friendly competition, leaving us prints of beautiful ladies, famous actors, landmarks (and the customs associated with them), and a host of other subjects. What followed was a golden age in the world of ukiyo-e, producing Kitakawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige and others.

As we come up on our 10th anniversary, with the courtesy of the Kawasaki Isago no Sato Museum
we are presenting some of ukiyo-efs most famous, finest paintings and prints representing ukiyo-efs beginnings through to its final period. The unique culture which was nurtured in the national isolation of the Edo Period exerted a great influence on Western Europe. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an overview of the world of ukiyo-e, the medium of this influence.

Museum Talk

Presented by a Hiroshige Museum Curator
Museum Talk: Saturday, April 23, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Lecture: Saturday May 28, begginning at 1:30 p.m.