The World of Modern Ukiyo-e:
To Life and the Future, Japanese Heart from Edo to Today
Itsusai Yoyozuya,who was Mari Mihashi, a modern Ukiyo-e artist and civil ambassadress, has introduced
real authentic Japanese culture in the U.S., simultaneously creating
new Japanese images through the works. In October 2006, the Modern Ukiyo-e
Exhibition sponsored by New York Japanese Consulate General featured
the Ukiyo-e works and drew great attention from visitors. As a result
of the success, the Ukiyo-e works were now held at both New York Public
Library along with major Ukiyo-e works created by Ukiyo-e artists from
old Edo period.Now, we are proud to present the Irodori-e, a New
York born Ukiyo-e painting, exhibition with a support of New York Public
Library. Her Irodori-e Exhibition sponsored by the U.S. Japan Embassy
also took place in April 2007. MIHASHI participated in and performed
at the events including JAPAN WOW! hosted by Smithsonian Institution.Itsusai also delivered a special talk at the Bethesda Rotary Club to promote
U.S.-Japan relationship by introducing authentic Japanese culture. We
still recall an enormous success at the Hokusai exhibition 2005 sponsored
by Smithsonian Institute, bringing large number of audiences. That Itsusaifs
works was exhibited at JAPAN WOW! shows increasing interests among American
people toward Japanese culture and Ukiyo-e.
Itsusai Yoyozuya promises to promote old Edo authentic culture from Japan,
one of the most beautiful countries, to the rest of the world.
1. Exhibition organized
by the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
2 Apr 2007 - 8 Jun 2007, Free and open to the public@9:00 a.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday/closed:April 6 & May 28
Address: the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan Lafayette
Center III, 1155 21st St., NW, Washington, DC, 20036-3308
Phone: 202-238-6949; Website: www.embjapan.org/jicc
Exhibition Opening Demonstration and Lecture
Monday, 16 April, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lecturer: by ,a modern ukiyo-e artist
Guest Performer: TSURUGA Wakasanojo XI, Living National Treasure, Shinnai
(Reservations required; email@example.com)
2. Ukiyo-e Lecture
Demonstration organized by the Smithsonian Associates: gJapan WOWh
Sunday, 15 April, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Address: The S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington
3. Ukiyo-e Lecture-Demonstration
organized by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club
Tuesday, 17 April, 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Produced by the Committee of Modern Ukiyo-e, and the Shinnai Shinkoukai
Under the Auspices of Visit Japan Campaign Headquarters
Sponsored by the Japan FoundationAthe Nomura Cultural Foundation
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., Lotte Co., Ltd., Marubeni America Corporation,
Itochu International Inc., and JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc.
Held in New York. Purchased from the collection of the New York Public Library.
Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theatre; with its origins in
Kyoto and popularized in Edo (Tokyo). Danjyuro Ichikawa is a star actor
in Kabuki theatre. It is very common to perpetuate lineage in Japanese
traditional arts. The name Danjyuro Ichikawa also has been passed on to
the new generations. When the name was bestowed on the current Danjyuro
Ichikawa, he inherited the artistic legacy of previous generations and
at the same time polished his performance with his own uniqueness.
Narita-ya is gYagoh actorfs
house name, which reflects their ranks.
Danjyuro Ichikawa IV was
the second son of Kanjuro Izumiya, born to a large Geisha house in Edosaki-cyo
town, but he was rumored to be actually a son of Danjyuro Ichikawa II.
In November 1754, in response to a desperate call for revival of the
respected name left vacant for 12 years, he took the Danjyuro Ichikawa
name at the age of 44. Danjyuro Ichikawa IV was reputed to have been a
nervous, hot-tempered type. Slender and tall with a long face and sharp-looking
eyes, he looked the part of a villain in gJitsu-gotoh, fact-based plays.
Although he was not suited to gAra-gotoh plays that were dynamic and energetic,
he cultivated his own unique art of acting. He retired in 1776, and passed
away on February 25, 1778, at the age of 68.
This portrait of the actor
was inspired by information on how he appeared in life as Danjyuro Ichikawa
What is Irodori-e?
Ukiyo-e is a genre of painting that depicts the daily lives of Japanese
people during the Edo Period between the 17th and 19th centuries. Literally,
ukiyo means gmodernh and e means painting. Ukiyo-e works very popular
among common people in Edo period, and, in addition, ukiyo-e paintings
and prints were greatly loved by European Impressionist painters such
as Vincent van Gogh and Edouard Manet, and were very influential in their
work. Ukiyo-e consists of two styles: one, paintings drawn with a brush
by the artist, and the other, woodblock prints. Generally, "ukiyo-e"
is used to refer to the woodblock prints. Ukiyo-e works were developed
in order to reach more people as a means of delivering information. The
artwork of ukiyo-e represents the collective effort of the painters (e-shi)
of the original works, the publishers (hanmoto), and the supervisors of
the other workers, including the carvers of the wood boards (horishi)
and the printers of the woodblock prints (surishi). In the Edo Period,
ukiyo-e artist groups were constantly searching for new printing techniques,
and cooperating in the effort to conquer the challenges of this art form.
In the early Edo Period, woodblock prints were only done in black ink;
those prints are called sumizuri. Later, yellowish red ink was added on
top of the black ink; such works are called tan-e. As the technique developed,
more colors, such as red, yellow, purple, and green, could be included;
these later works are called beni-e. Prints with only two colors, red
and green, are termed benizuri-e. Finally, in 1765, the artist Harunobu
Suzuki developed a technique enabling printing with many colors; such
prints are called nishiki-e.@As a modern ukiyo-e artist in present day
Japan, Mari Mihashi believes in the importance of continuing the pioneering
spirit of the original ukiyo-e artists' groups, courageously facing the
unknown and daring to attempt experimental techniques, just like the ukiyo-e
artists of the past. Mihashi believes that modern ukiyo-e should embody
traditional Japanese customs, passing on that legacy to the next generation.
At the same time, modern ukiyo-e has an important role in creating a new
culture, capturing a hint of the modern world. As one way of achieving
this, Mihashi uses very heavy paper of the highest quality, echizen hoshogami,
considered a national treasure in Japan, along with new methods that combine
traditional printing techniques and modern digital printing. Her innovative
efforts have resulted in the worldfs first technique for producing magnificent
prints that combine both the special characteristics of the Japanese tradition
and distinctive elements of modernism. This emerging ukiyo-e printing
technique, called, in a term coined by Mihashi, irodori-e, may replace
nishiki-e some day.
Takeuchi Print Studio Co., Ltd.: Photography and Giclee printing
Kobayashi Biken, Inc.: Serigraphy and Giclee printing