image
image
image
image
image
Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection
image
Hagi Uragami MuseumSaturday, April 28 – Sunday, May 27, 2018
Hagi Uragami Museum
Ended.
VISIT

We are honored to bring you Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection, the first exhibition in Japan of the collection of ukiyo-e prints that Lee E. Dirks, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has built.

Mr. Dirks became interested in Japanese art in 1960 while stationed in Japan as an officer in the Air Force. During his subsequent career in journalism, as a writer and editor for Dow Jones & Co. and major newspapers and in newspaper industry management, he began collecting ukiyo-e prints, which had made an exceptional impression on him. His collection consists of superb works by ukiyo-e artists spanning two centuries of ukiyo-e print history, from Hishikawa Moronobu, the founding father of the ukiyo-e print tradition, Kitagawa Utamaro, grand master of the bijinga depiction of beautiful women, Tōshū Sharaku, famed for his actor prints, to Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige. Moreover, these prints are in an excellent state of preservation, retaining the beautiful colors that they had when they were first pulled from the printing blocks. Their remarkable quality has earned this collection worldwide esteem.

This exhibition is composed of 166 ukyio-e masterpieces from the Lee E. Dirks Collection and offering an opportunity to fully appreciate the artistry of ukyio-e. We hope that you enjoy the beautiful colors and design of ukiyo-e printings!

  • Exhibition

    Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection

  • Period

    Saturday, April 28 – Sunday, May 27, 2018

  • Venue

  • Organizers

    Committee for the Exhibition “Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection” (Hagi Uragami Museum, The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd., Television Yamaguchi Broadcasting Systems Co., Ltd.), Nikkei Inc.

  • With the Support of

    The Embassy of the United States of America, Yamaguchi Prefectural Board of Education, Hagi City

  • With the Cooperation of

    JAPAN AIRLINES

  • With the Special Cooperation of

    FM-Yamaguchi Co., Ltd.

 Shokokuji Jotenkaku Museum Tuesday, July 3 – Sunday, September 30, 2018)
Shokokuji Jotenkaku Museum

We are honored to bring you Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection, the first exhibition in Japan of the collection of ukiyo-e prints that Lee E. Dirks, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has built.

Mr. Dirks became interested in Japanese art in 1960 while stationed in Japan as an officer in the Air Force. During his subsequent career in journalism, as a writer and editor for Dow Jones & Co. and major newspapers and in newspaper industry management, he began collecting ukiyo-e prints, which had made an exceptional impression on him. His collection consists of superb works by ukiyo-e artists spanning two centuries of ukiyo-e print history, from Hishikawa Moronobu, the founding father of the ukiyo-e print tradition, Kitagawa Utamaro, grand master of the bijinga depiction of beautiful women, Tōshūsai Sharaku, famed for his actor prints, to Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige. Moreover, these prints are in an excellent state of preservation, retaining the beautiful colors that they had when they were first pulled from the printing blocks. Their remarkable quality has earned this collection worldwide esteem.

This exhibition is composed of 166 ukyio-e masterpieces from the Lee E. Dirks Collection and offering an opportunity to fully appreciate the artistry of ukyio-e. We hope that you enjoy the beautiful colors and design of ukiyo-e printings!

*In Kyoto venue, all works on display will change over midway through the rum of this exhibition.

  • Exhibition

    Popular Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Lee E. Dirks Collection

  • Period

    1st Period: Tuesday, July 3–Sunday, August 5, 2018
    2nd Period: Wednesday, August 8 –Sunday, September 30, 2018
    *All works on display will change over midway through the rum of this exhibition.

  • Closed

    August 6 (Mon) and 7 (Tue)

  • Hours

    10:00 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30)

  • Venue

    Shokokuji Jotenkaku Museum
    http://www.shokoku-ji.jp/j_nyukan.html
  • Organizers

    Shokukuji Jotenkaku Museum, Nikkei Inc., The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd.

  • With the Support of

    The Embassy of the United States of America

  • With the Cooperation of

    JAPAN AIRLINES, MBS

ADMISSION
  Regular ticket Advance ticket Group ticket
(20 persons or more)
Adults Regular ticket1,000 yen Advance ticket800 yen Group ticket800 yen
Seniors aged over 65/ college students
*ID required
Regular ticket800 yen Advance ticket600 yen Group ticket
Students
(Elementary school/ Junior high school/ High school)
Regular ticket500 yen Advance ticket300 yen Group ticket

* Advance tickets will be on sale at major ticketing agencies from May 28 to July 2, 2018.
* Persons with disabilities are admitted free with one accompanying person each (please present an ID at the ticket booth)

Yokohama TakashimayaOctober 10 - 22, 2018
Yokohama Takashimaya
  • Organizers

    Nikkei Inc.

  • With the Support of

    The Embassy of the United States of America

  • With the Cooperation of

    JAPAN AIRLINES

Nihonbashi TakashimayaJanuary 9 -21, 2019
Nihonbashi Takashimaya
  • Organizers

    Nikkei Inc.

  • With the Support of

    The Embassy of the United States of America

  • With the Cooperation of

    JAPAN AIRLINES

Osaka TakashimayaFebruary 23 – March 11, 2019
Osaka Takashimaya
  • Organizers

    Nikkei Inc.

  • With the Support of

    The Embassy of the United States of America

  • With the Cooperation of

    JAPAN AIRLINES

October 10 - 22, 2018
Yokohama Takashimaya

January 9 -21, 2019
Nihonbashi Takashimaya

February 23 – March 11, 2019
Osaka Takashimaya

image

OVERVIEW

1

The Dawn of Edo Ukiyo-e—Early Ukiyo-e Prints

The techniques used to produce early ukiyo-e prints began with sumizuri-e or black-and-white prints in the Kanbun and Enpō eras (1661–81). Those evolved into tan-e, in which tan, red lead, was applied with a brush to sumizuri-e. That development was followed by beni-e, with a pinkish red derived from saffron brushed on, and urushi-e, in which nikawa (animal collagen glue) was mixed with sumi ink to create a black with a luster like that of urushi, lacquer; beni red, yellow, and other colors were also brushed on.

In the Enkyō era (1744–48), it became possible to print in layers of colors—mainly red and green, in addition to the fundamental black—instead of applying colors with the brush. These early colored prints were called benizuri-e. The stage was set for the birth of the nishiki-e, the polychrome print, which achieved a full range of printed colors by using a larger set of woodblocks.

During this early period, a great variety of ukiyo-e artists were active in Edo, including Hishikawa Moronobu, the Kaigetsudō school, and Okumura Masanobu. Particularly outstanding were Torii Kiyonobu and Kiyomasu, whose vigorous style was perfectly suited to portraying Kabuki actors in roles calling for the bravado style of aragoto heroics. By the Hōreki era (1751–64), these and many other artists had formed a distinctive ukiyo-e culture in Edo.

Lovers behind the wooden screen

HISHIKAWA MORONOBU Lovers behind the wooden screen
Woodblock print: sumizuri-e, hand-colored Ōban yoko-e, ca. 1679–1684

An actor of the Ichikawa family scattering parched beans to drive out evil spirits

Attributed to TORII KIYOMASU I
An actor of the Ichikawa family scattering parched beans to drive out evil spirits
Woodblock print: tan-e on two sheets of joined paper, hand-colored Ō-ōban tate-e, ca. 1709–1715

2

The Birth and Development of the Nishiki-e

In Meiwa 2 (1765), the exchange of privately commissioned, illustrated calendar prints was fashionable among wealthy Edo aesthetes. Their demand for ever more beautiful prints inspired a critical development: the polychrome print. They were referred to as Azuma nishiki-e, “pictures as beautiful as brocade from the eastern capital, Edo.” The artist most active in the period when the nishiki-e was born was Suzuki Harunobu, whose style of depicting dream-like beauties (bijinga) was adroitly imitated by many other ukiyo-e artists.

After Harunobu’s death in 1770, Isoda Koryūsai achieved a shift to a more realistic style of bijinga, depicting stately women with earthy bodies. In the Tenmei era (1781–89), Torii Kiyonaga, developing his graceful bijinga style, guided the way to the next period in ukiyo-e depictions of beautiful women.

In actor prints, another important ukiyo-e genre, Ippitsusai Bunchō and Katsukawa Shunshō sought to create more accurate likenesses, portraying actors more individu

Woman performing the ohyakudo ritual

SUZUKI HARUNOBU Woman performing the ohyakudo ritual Color woodblock print
Chūban tate-e, 1765

Yamashita Kinsaku II

KATSUKAWA SHUNSHŌ Yamashita Kinsaku II, from the series Fans of the East (Azuma ōgi) Color woodblock print
Bai-ai ban tate-e, ca. 1776–1777

3

Masterworks of the Golden Age

In the Kansei era (1789–1801), ukiyo-e styles and modes of expression became even more richly varied. Kitagawa Utamaro adopted the head and torso portrait (ōkubi-e) format for his bijinga, creating images of women from many classes of society, portraying them from close up and capturing their expressions in detail. The size of the picture plane was also changing, with the use of triptychs of ōban (approximately 39 by 26 centimeters) prints increasing. The designs and compositions also became more diverse.

Tōshūsai Sharaku is known to have been active as an ukiyo-e artist for only a brief period in 1794 and 1795. He then abruptly disappeared. All his work was published by Tsutaya Jūzaburō, who also was quick to make Utamaro, during his early period, his protégé. We can recognize the emergence of the publisher as producer in the world of ukiyo-e publishing during the Golden Age.

The series Portraits of Actors on Stage by Utagawa Toyokuni, which Izumiya Ichibei published, also earned considerable acclaim and opened the way to new developments in the actor print. Toyokuni’s apprentice, Kunisada, also created many masterworks in the close-up portrait format (ōkubi-e) actor print.

Pensive Love

KITAGAWA UTAMARO Pensive Love (Mono-omou koi), from the series Anthology of Poems: the Love Section (Kasen koi no bu) Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e, ca. 1793–1794

Nakamura Nakazō II as Matsuōmaru

UTAGAWA KUNIMASA Nakamura Nakazō II as Matsuōmaru Color woodblock print Ōban tate-e, 1796

4

The Fashion for Exquisite Privately Commissioned Prints and Other Developments

The Bunka and Bunsei eras (1804–30) saw a transition from the rather broad treatments in polychrome prints to more detailed depictions, with a greater amount of information included in the picture plane.

Surimono, privately commissioned prints, which were not for sale, also continued to develop, with surimono series as well as individual prints being commissioned. A wealth of sumptuous square shikishiban (poem-card-format) kyōka surimono, prints combining images and kyōka or satirical verse, were created, with finely detailed carving of the woodblocks combined with printing in gold and silver pigments and the use of gauffrage. The surimono exchanged at New Year’s were usually created for specific groups of kyōka enthusiasts. The artists most active in the surimono domain were Katsushika Hokusai and the members of his school.

The richly elegant subject matter for surimono was elaborately planned. In addition to contemporary manners and customs, many of these prints depicted images that were linked to classic literature or made parodic allusions to classic subjects. Interpreting them required broad knowledge, and the concord between the kyōka verses, which were highly witty, and the images was a source of delight.

This section also includes Osaka ukiyo-e, which developed independently from the Edo ukiyo-e world.

The Tide Controlling Jewels and a Curved Scythe; The Fujiwara Clan, from the series The Four Clans

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI The Tide Controlling Jewels and a Curved Scythe; The Fujiwara Clan (Tō, kanju manju, fujimaki no kama), from the series The Four Clans (Shisei no uchi) Color woodblock print
Shikishiban surimono, ca. 1822

Courtesan representing Kinkō, from the series Courtesans Viewed as the Immortals of Ressenden, One of Seven

GAKUTEI
Courtesan representing Kinkō (Qin Gao), from the series Courtesans Viewed as the Immortals of Ressenden (Liexian Zhuan), One of Seven (Keisei mitate ressenden, shichiban no uchi) Color woodblock print with metallic pigments Shikishiban surimono, ca. 1824

Nakamura Utaemon III as Katō Masakiyo

SHUNKŌSAI HOKUSHŪ
Nakamura Utaemon III as Katō Masakiyo
Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e, 1820

5

Hokusai’s Nishiki-e World

Katsushika Hokusai’s long career spanned near seventy years, during which he was constantly opening up new territory in which to exercise his genius. He produced not only commercial ukiyo-e prints but also privately commissioned surimono prints, illustrations for books, drawing manuals, picture books, and brush-drawn ukiyo-e paintings.

In 1794 to 1798, when Hokusai was using the art name Sōri, he created many brush-drawn bijinga, paintings of beautiful women. Their slender faces and willowy slimness define what is known as his Sōri style. His output of bijinga for polychrome prints, however, was small. Seven Fashionable Habits (No. 89) is Hokusai’s only series of ōban-size bijinga in the head and torso portrait format. The prints in this rare series, moreover, are in splendid condition.

Most of Hokusai’s nishiki-e series, including his world-famous Thirty-six Views of Fuji, were published in the Tenpō era (1830–44). This section of the exhibition brings together 33 Tenpō-era prints. In addition to landscapes, these works include representations of literary topics, such as his A True Mirror of Chinese and Japanese Poems, for a taste of Hokusai’s literary interests.

Fuji from beneath the Great Wave off Kanagawa

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI
Fuji from beneath the Great Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki namiura), from the series Thirty-six Views of Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) Color woodblock print
Ōban yoko-e, ca. 1831

Telescope, from the series Seven Fashionable Habits

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI
Telescope, from the series Seven Fashionable Habits (Fūryū nakute nanakuse) Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e, ca. 1801–1804

6

Bakumatsu and the Flourishing Utagawa School

As time passed, new ukiyo-e schools kept forming, each developing its own distinctive style. From the Tenpō era (1830–44) through the Bakumatsu period, the closing years of the Tokugawa shogunate, however, apart from Hokusai, the artists leading the ukiyo-e world were almost all members of the Utagawa school. Utagawa Toyokuni had trained a great number of pupils. After his death in 1825, Utagawa Kunisada became the leading artist in the beautiful women and actor portrait genres. In the warrior and humor genres, it was Utagawa Kuniyoshi , while Utagawa Hiroshige won fame for his prints depicting famous places. Many large series (each including more than fifty prints) were published in this period, but almost all were the work of Kunisada (who later became Toyokuni III), Kuniyoshi, and Hiroshige.

Bakumatsu-period nishiki-e also had increasingly large print runs, so that the difference between the first printing and later impressions of the same print became noticeably greater. One of the attractions of the Lee E. Dirks Collection is that many of its Hiroshige prints are early impressions.

The Ghosts of the Taira Clan Attacking Yoshitsune’s Ship off the Coast of Daimotsu in the Province of Settsu

UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI The Ghosts of the Taira Clan Attacking Yoshitsune’s Ship off the Coast of Daimotsu in the Province of Settsu (Sesshū Daimotsu-no-ura, Heike no onryō arawaruru zu) Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e triptych, ca. 1842

Turtle Fun: Wonderful, Wonderful

UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI
Turtle Fun: Wonderful, Wonderful (Kiki myōmyō)
Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e triptych, 1848

Plum Garden, Kameido

UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE Plum Garden, Kameido (Kameido ume yashiki), from the series One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei) Color woodblock print
Ōban tate-e, 1857

Photographs ⓒ Lee E. Dirks Collection

Attributed to SHIBA KOKAN Courtesan watching her kamuro roll a snowball ca.1770, KATSUKAWA SHUNSHŌ Bando Mitsugoro Ⅰ ca.1780-1781,UTAGAWA KUNIYOSHI Turtle Fun: Wonderful, Wonderful(kiki myomyo), 1848, HISHIKAWA MORONOBU Lovers after a little music ca.1679-1684, KITAGAW UTAMARO Woman plays her shamisen while her child clasps her, representing the Sekidera chapter (Sekidera), from the series Fashionable Seven Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi) ca.1803, Attributed to TORII KIYONOBU Ⅰ An actor of the Ichikawa family scattering parched beans to drive out evil spirits ca.1709-1715, UTAGAW HIROSHIGE Pair of mandarin ducks ca.1832-1835, UTAGAWA KUNISADA A tipsy courtesan from Fukagawa, from the series Three Fashionable Tipplers (FUZOKU sannnin namayoi) ca.1830-1832, KEISAI EISEN Geisha at night ca.1830-1832, KITAGAWA UTAMARO Nakagawa, Utagawa, and Matsukaze of the Matsubaro (Matsubaro Nakagawa, Utagawa, Matsukaze) ca.1797, KATSUKAWA SHUNSHŌ Nakamura Sukegoro Ⅱ as Matano no Goro 1770
Photographs © Lee E. Dirks Collection