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Research Paper - Japanese for print. Figure Figure Baren...

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Figure Woodblocks carved from boxwood, cherry, and birch. Figure Traditional chisels used for carving Figure Baren used to rub paint onto print. Japanese Woodblock Printing Leung, Nicole Lee INTL 10 July 21, 2010
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Leung 2 Woodblock printing had existed in China for centuries with its sole purpose being to print books. However, it did not reach popularity in Japan until much later during the Edo period from 1603 to 1867. This technique then became most well known for its use in the Ukiyo-e paintings which first appeared in the early 1600s in the cities of Kyoto and Osaka. Ukiyo-e can be roughly translated to “pictures of the floating world”, and they were first considered a low type of art only for people of the non-elite classes due to their simplicity (Eichenmuller). They had replaced paintings and calligraphy which had been too expensive for the common people to purchase for their possession. These paintings were created with “strong outlines, abstracted forms, intricate use of pattern and no attempt at representing depth or volume” (Salter 9). The first paintings were created only with sumi (black ink) and colored in by hand with colored chalk. However, as these paintings progressed they gradually became more and more complicated to produce with the addition of a larger spectrum of colors. Thus, the woodblock print process came to include everyone that took part in the making process. This consisted of the artist, block cutter, printer, and publisher. Ukiyo-e eventually made its way from the smaller cities to Edo, which is now known as Tokyo, during the 1800s. These monocolored prints developed to two- and three-color prints and finally full-blown multicolored prints. These multicolored prints often depicting “beautiful women, birds, flowers, landscapes, and countryside of Japan” were used to make flyers for advertising performances in the cities and countryside (Eichenmuller). In the eighth century, woodblock prints already existed in Chinese Buddhist temples in Japan. Although the prints were made in China, woodblock printing had been employed by the Empress Shotuku to distribute gratitude throughout the country for the suppression of the Emi Rebellion in 764. This was the earliest known use of woodblock printing in Japan. By the eleventh century, Buddhist temples in Japan had begun printing their own books of sutras,
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Research Paper - Japanese for print. Figure Figure Baren...

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