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The Floating World of Ukiyo-e: Shadows, Dreams, and Substance

Visitors to this site will see about 20 Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, selected from more than 100 currently on view at the Library of Congress (LC), that were in turn culled from over 2,000 in the Library's collection. Ukiyo-e is commonly translated as "pictures of the floating world." The art form began in the Japanese city Edo in the seventeenth century. The exhibition proceeds through six sections: Early Masters, Major Genres, Images and Literary Sources, Realia and Reportage, Japan and the West, and Beyond Ukiyo-e. In Japan and West, Picture of Western Traders at Yokohama Transporting Merchandise shows sailing vessels flying American and French flags. Prints are presented as thumbnails with explanatory text within the sections; impatient visitors can also approach the show using the Object List, a simple list of every item in the exhibition, that links to the full-sized version of each print. Beyond Ukiyo-e, the last section, discusses 20th-century developments and movements in Japanese woodblock print making, and concludes with a print of LC's Jefferson Building made in 1966 by Hiratsuka Un'ichi, a Japanese artist who lived part of his life in Washington, DC.
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Date of Scout Publication
October 5th, 2001
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 3:51pm
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 3:51pm
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