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Friday, Dec. 23, 2011


"Kuniyoshi: Spectacular Ukiyo-e Imagination"


Staff writer

News photo
"Mikake wa kowai ga tonda ii hito da" ("He Looks Fierce but He's a Really Great Man") by Kuniyoshi Utagawa.

One of the greatest contributors to ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), that popular art form of the Edo Period (1603-1867), was Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), who was known for his beautiful workmanship, attention to detail and innovative style. Kuniyoshi was also a prolific printmaker and one of the artists who still found ways to continue his craft when illustrations of courtesans and theater actors were banned as immoral during the Tenpo Reforms (1841-43) of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

New Kuniyoshi works are constantly being discovered, even a century and a half after the great master's death, and this exhibition — the largest to date — includes prints that have never before been publicly displayed; till Feb. 12.

Mori Arts Center Gallery; (03) 5777-8600; 52F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Tokyo; 4-min. walk from Exit 3 of Roppongi Station, Toei Oedo Line, 8-min. walk from Exit 4 of Azabu Juban Station, Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wed.-Mon. (Tue. till 5 p.m.). ¥1,500. Closed Wed. and Jan. 9. kuniyoshi.exhn.jp/english.html.

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