Re: what was ukiyo-e used for?

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Posted by David Librali on March 06, 2002 at 00:53:58:

In Reply to: what was ukiyo-e used for? posted by BeeDro on March 05, 2002 at 01:45:34:

: What was ukiyo-e used for in Edo period??
: Where and who were sellig them?

This is a simple question with a complex answer! Of course, one is tempted at first to say ukiyo-e were poster-like pictures of famous figures in the world of the city commoner, famous courtesans and kabuki actors and others who caught the public attention, much like the celebrated "stars" of today's media. But ukiyo-e was media in all the senses of the term. Some prints contained news, some were games, some served as souvenirs of places visited or dreamy views of places unseen. Some were used as pornography, some as advertisements, some as 3-D views to entertain children, some as talismans, some to be pasted on fans or badminton boards. Ukiyo-e is a broad field, and its uses were many.

As to who was selling them and where, the answer is primarily merchants in the cities, though later (in the nineteenth century) peddlars in the countryside as well. Ukiyo-e is primarily a city phenomenon, with Edo as the center, though Osaka and Nagasaki had their own printing cultures and styles.

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