These beautiful polychrome woodblock prints are Meiji era copies (ca. 1900) of original designs (ca. 1771) by Itō Jakuchū (1716–1800), a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period notable for his striking modern aesthetic. Born in Kyoto, Jakuchū was strongly influenced by Zen Buddhist ideals throughout his life and his name is taken from the Tao Te Ching and means “like the void”. He was considered a koji (a lay brother) and he named his studio Shin’en-kan, which translates as “Villa of the Detached Heart [or Mind])”, a phrase included in a poem by the ancient Chinese poet Tao Qian.
If you liked this...
Please consider supporting us or subscribing to our fortnightly newsletter
We rely on your donations to keep the project going
The stunning floral images featured here are the work of Ogawa Kazumasa, a Japanese photographer, printer, and publisher known for his pioneering work in photomecha…more
Wonderful selection of wave and ripple designs which would have acted as a kind of go-to guide for Japanese craftsmen looking to adorn their wares with wave and rip…more
Ghoulish array of shapeshifting monsters from Japanese folklore….more
Highlights from the fantastic collection of Hiroshige prints held at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam….more
Japanese woodcuts from a series by Kamekichi Tsunajima titled “Ryūkō eigo zukushi”, showing images of animals, activities and objects each with their Japanese…more
Photographs depicting everyday scenes in 19th-century Japan by Kusakabe Kimbei….more
Wonderful selection of wave and ripple designs produced by the Japanese artist Mori Yuzan, which would have found their way onto swords and associated paraphernalia…more
Deriving its title from the word for “ghost story” in Japanese this is a book by scholar and translator Lafcadio Hearn in which are compiled an array of ghost stori…more