Re: Translation of "Ukiyo-e"


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Posted by Theo de Kreijger on March 15, 1998 at 22:58:36:

In Reply to: Translation of "Ukiyo-e" posted by Gregory Boardley on March 15, 1998 at 00:49:18:

: Please tell me the Japanese to English translation of
: the term "Ukiyo-e".

: Thanks,

: Greg

That's an easy one!

The "e" stands for picture(s) and "ukiyo" stands for "floating world" or "world that goes by". So "ukiyo-e" means "pictures of the floating world".
Those printed images depict a world of pleasure, for instance: theater, wrestling (sumo), traveling through the country and of course beautifull women. Everything the ordinairy japanese man would "go for" in his spare time during the "Edo-period".

Edo was the capital city of the shogunate and trade flourished enormous.However, the radesmen in old Japan belonged to the lower-class. Although they were rather wealthy, they were not allowed to go to the No-theater and other cultural events which were preserved for the upper-class. So they created there own cultural world and this is what we see when we look at "Ukiyo-e". This is the art of the lower-class of Japan from about the 1660's untill the 1860's. Consider it to be the "pop-culture" of that time. (What did I say??? This is perhaps a daring but innovating comparison!!! Got to get copyright on this one ...).

Yours truly, Theo de Kreijger


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