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Edo Period 1603 1868 Collection

The Edo Period (1603-1868) was a time of great artistic and cultural flourishing in Japan

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Messenger with a Letter, from the series 'Elegant Five-needled Pine, c

Messenger with a Letter, from the series "Elegant Five-needled Pine, c. 1797-98 (colour woodblock print;oban)
5860842 Messenger with a Letter, from the series " Elegant Five-needled Pine, c.1797-98 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Snow (Yuki), from the series 'Famous Places of Edo, c. 1849-52 (colour woodblock print; uchiwa-e)

Snow (Yuki), from the series "Famous Places of Edo, c. 1849-52 (colour woodblock print; uchiwa-e)
5860021 Snow (Yuki), from the series "Famous Places of Edo, c.1849-52 (colour woodblock print; uchiwa-e) by Hiroshige, Ando or Utagawa (1797-1858); 23.2x29.9 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Style of a Feudal Lord's Household (Yashiki-fu), from the series Guide to Contemporary Styles

The Style of a Feudal Lord's Household (Yashiki-fu), from the series Guide to Contemporary Styles (Tosei fuzoku tsu)
5859860 The Style of a Feudal Lord's Household (Yashiki-fu), from the series Guide to Contemporary Styles (Tosei fuzoku tsu), 1795-1806 (color woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Main Gate, New Yoshiwara, c.1745 (hand-coloured woodblock print; toku-oban yoko-e, beni-e)

The Main Gate, New Yoshiwara, c.1745 (hand-coloured woodblock print; toku-oban yoko-e, beni-e)
5859859 The Main Gate, New Yoshiwara, c.1745 (hand-coloured woodblock print; toku-oban yoko-e, beni-e) by Kiyotada, Torii (fl.c.1720-50); 43.4 x 63.9 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Hotei, from the series 'Comparison of the Treasures of the Gods of Good Fortune

Hotei, from the series "Comparison of the Treasures of the Gods of Good Fortune (Fukujin takara awase)"
5859855 Hotei, from the series "Comparison of the Treasures of the Gods of Good Fortune (Fukujin takara awase)", c.1795 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Eishi

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Procession of a Daimyo, c.1681-84 (hand-coloured woodblock print; oban yoko-e, sumizuri-e)

Procession of a Daimyo, c.1681-84 (hand-coloured woodblock print; oban yoko-e, sumizuri-e)
5859851 Procession of a Daimyo, c.1681-84 (hand-coloured woodblock print; oban yoko-e, sumizuri-e) by Moronobu, Hishikawa (c.1618-1694); 27.2 x 38.1 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Flowers, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu)

Flowers, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu)
5859842 Flowers, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu), c.1814 (colour woodblock print (album sheet)) by Hokusai

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Man Falling Backward, Startled by a Woman's Ghost over a River

Man Falling Backward, Startled by a Woman's Ghost over a River, c.1782 (colour woodblock print; hosoban diptych)
5859820 Man Falling Backward, Startled by a Woman's Ghost over a River, c.1782 (colour woodblock print; hosoban diptych) by Shunsho, Katsukawa (1726-92); The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Akashi of the Tamaya, from the series Seven Komachis of Yoshiwara (Seiro nana Komachi)

Akashi of the Tamaya, from the series Seven Komachis of Yoshiwara (Seiro nana Komachi) (Tamaya uchi Akashi, Uraji)
5859724 Akashi of the Tamaya, from the series Seven Komachis of Yoshiwara (Seiro nana Komachi) (Tamaya uchi Akashi, Uraji, Shimano), c.1794-95 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: In a Pleasure House in Shinagawa (Shinagawa no rojo) (colour woodblock prints; two sheets from an)

In a Pleasure House in Shinagawa (Shinagawa no rojo) (colour woodblock prints; two sheets from an oban triptych)
5859703 In a Pleasure House in Shinagawa (Shinagawa no rojo) (colour woodblock prints; two sheets from an oban triptych) by Eishi, Chobunsai (1756-1829); 38.4 x 25.2 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Tachibanaya Chusha (The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Hachiman Taro Minamoto no Yoshiie)

Tachibanaya Chusha (The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Hachiman Taro Minamoto no Yoshiie)
5859696 Tachibanaya Chusha (The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Hachiman Taro Minamoto no Yoshiie), 1794 (colour woodblock print; aiban) by Sharaku

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Ono no Komachi Washing the Copybook (Soshiarai Komachi), 1735-40

Ono no Komachi Washing the Copybook (Soshiarai Komachi), 1735-40 (hand-coloured woodblock print; hosoban)
5859586 Ono no Komachi Washing the Copybook (Soshiarai Komachi), 1735-40 (hand-coloured woodblock print; hosoban) by Kiyomasu II, Torii (1706-63); 29.6 x 16 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Komurasaki and Gonpachi, from the series 'Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style

Komurasaki and Gonpachi, from the series "Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style (Ryuko moyo Utamaro-gata)"
5859857 Komurasaki and Gonpachi, from the series "Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style (Ryuko moyo Utamaro-gata)", c.1798-99 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Poetess Shunzei no Musume, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets

The Poetess Shunzei no Musume, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets (Nishikizuri onna sanjurokkasen)
5859847 The Poetess Shunzei no Musume, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets (Nishikizuri onna sanjurokkasen), 1801 (page from a colour woodblock-printed volume) by Eishi

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Famous Places on the Tokaido in One View (Tokaido meisho ichiran)

The Famous Places on the Tokaido in One View (Tokaido meisho ichiran), 1818 (colour woodblock print; o-oban)
5859839 The Famous Places on the Tokaido in One View (Tokaido meisho ichiran), 1818 (colour woodblock print; o-oban) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 43 x 58 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Actor Ichikawa Danjuro V in a 'Shibaraku' Role, Probably as Kato Hyoeisa Shigemitsu

The Actor Ichikawa Danjuro V in a "Shibaraku" Role, Probably as Kato Hyoeisa Shigemitsu
5859817 The Actor Ichikawa Danjuro V in a "Shibaraku" Role, Probably as Kato Hyoeisa Shigemitsu, in the Third Scene of the Play Masakado Kammuri no Hatsuyuki

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Actors Nakamura Takesaburo I as Kewaizaka no Shosho and Ichikawa Danjuro II as Soga no Goro

The Actors Nakamura Takesaburo I as Kewaizaka no Shosho and Ichikawa Danjuro II as Soga no Goro dressed as a komuso in
5859739 The Actors Nakamura Takesaburo I as Kewaizaka no Shosho and Ichikawa Danjuro II as Soga no Goro dressed as a komuso in the play "Bando Ichi Kotobuki Soga

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: A Test of Skill - the Headwaters of Amorousness (Jitsu kurabe iro no minakami)

A Test of Skill - the Headwaters of Amorousness (Jitsu kurabe iro no minakami)
5859738 A Test of Skill - the Headwaters of Amorousness (Jitsu kurabe iro no minakami): Osan and Mohei (colour woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Kinokuniya Tosshi (The actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Kujaku Saburo Narihira)

Kinokuniya Tosshi (The actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Kujaku Saburo Narihira), 1794 (colour woodblock print; aiban)
5859700 Kinokuniya Tosshi (The actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Kujaku Saburo Narihira), 1794 (colour woodblock print; aiban) by Sharaku

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Ono no Komachi at Seki Temple, from the series The Seven Fashionable Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi)

Ono no Komachi at Seki Temple, from the series The Seven Fashionable Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi)
5859858 Ono no Komachi at Seki Temple, from the series The Seven Fashionable Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi), c.1771 (colour woodblock print; chuban) by Koryusai

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Ohan and Choemon, from the series 'Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style (Ryuko moyo Utamaro-gata)'

Ohan and Choemon, from the series "Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style (Ryuko moyo Utamaro-gata)"
5859856 Ohan and Choemon, from the series "Fashonable Patterns in Utamaro Style (Ryuko moyo Utamaro-gata)", c.1798-99 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Act Two: The House of Kakogawa Honzo from the play Chushingura (Treasury of Loyal Retainers)

Act Two: The House of Kakogawa Honzo from the play Chushingura (Treasury of Loyal Retainers)
5859853 Act Two: The House of Kakogawa Honzo from the play Chushingura (Treasury of Loyal Retainers), c.1779-80 (colour woodblock print; chuban) by Shunsho

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Still-Life with Monkey Mask, 1824 (colour woodblock print with metallic pigments; surimono)

Still-Life with Monkey Mask, 1824 (colour woodblock print with metallic pigments; surimono shikishiban)
5859826 Still-Life with Monkey Mask, 1824 (colour woodblock print with metallic pigments; surimono shikishiban) by Hokkei

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Lovers Playing the Same Fute (parody of Xuanzong and Yang Guifei)

Lovers Playing the Same Fute (parody of Xuanzong and Yang Guifei), c.1767 (colour woodblock print; chuban)
5859759 Lovers Playing the Same Fute (parody of Xuanzong and Yang Guifei), c.1767 (colour woodblock print; chuban) by Harunobu, Suzuki (1725-70); 26.8 x 19.7 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Parrot Komachi, from the series The Fashionable Seven Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi)

Parrot Komachi, from the series The Fashionable Seven Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi)
5859725 Parrot Komachi, from the series The Fashionable Seven Komachi (Furyu nana Komachi), c.1788 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Eishi

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Actor Yamashina Shirojuro as Nagoya Sanzaemon (Yamashina Shirojuro no Nagoya Sanzaemon)

The Actor Yamashina Shirojuro as Nagoya Sanzaemon (Yamashina Shirojuro no Nagoya Sanzaemon)
5859698 The Actor Yamashina Shirojuro as Nagoya Sanzaemon (Yamashina Shirojuro no Nagoya Sanzaemon) (colour woodblock print; hosoban, nishiki-e) by Sharaku

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Poetess Ukon, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets

The Poetess Ukon, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets (Nishikizuri onna sanjurokkasen)
5859852 The Poetess Ukon, from the series The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets (Nishikizuri onna sanjurokkasen), 1801 (page from a colour woodblock-printed volume) by Eishi

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Poetess Michitsuna no Haha, from the series 'The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets

The Poetess Michitsuna no Haha, from the series "The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets
5859848 The Poetess Michitsuna no Haha, from the series "The Thirty-six Immortal Women Poets (Nishikizuri onna sanjurokkasen)", 1801 (pages from a colour woodblock-printed volume) by Eishi

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Yamatoya Tojaku (The Actor Iwai Hanshiro IV as Otoma, Daughter of Ohina from Inamuragasaki in)

Yamatoya Tojaku (The Actor Iwai Hanshiro IV as Otoma, Daughter of Ohina from Inamuragasaki in Kamakura)
5859699 Yamatoya Tojaku (The Actor Iwai Hanshiro IV as Otoma, Daughter of Ohina from Inamuragasaki in Kamakura) (Yondai-me Iwai Hanshiro no Kamakura Inamuragasaki no Ohina musume Otoma)

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Naritaya Sansho (The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VI as Arakawa Taro Takesada)

Naritaya Sansho (The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VI as Arakawa Taro Takesada), 1794 (colour woodblock print; aiban)
5859697 Naritaya Sansho (The actor Ichikawa Danjuro VI as Arakawa Taro Takesada), 1794 (colour woodblock print; aiban) by Sharaku, Toshusai (fl.1794-95); 32.1 x 22.4 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The actors Segawa Tomisaburo II (R) as Yadorigi, wife of Ogishi Kurando, and Nakamura Manyo (L)

The actors Segawa Tomisaburo II (R) as Yadorigi, wife of Ogishi Kurando, and Nakamura Manyo (L)
5859695 The actors Segawa Tomisaburo II (R) as Yadorigi, wife of Ogishi Kurando, and Nakamura Manyo (L) as the servant Wakakusa, 1794 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Sharaku

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Farewell Gift for the Horse (Uma no Senbetsu), from the series 'A Selection of Horses (Uma-zukushi)'

Farewell Gift for the Horse (Uma no Senbetsu), from the series "A Selection of Horses (Uma-zukushi)"
5859591 Farewell Gift for the Horse (Uma no Senbetsu), from the series "A Selection of Horses (Uma-zukushi)", 1822 (colour woodblock print; shikishiban, surimono) by Hokusai

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Dancing Fox, 1766 (colour woodblock print; chuban)

The Dancing Fox, 1766 (colour woodblock print; chuban)
5859861 The Dancing Fox, 1766 (colour woodblock print; chuban) by Anonymous; 25.2 x 18.8 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, USA; (add.info.: Unknown artist)

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Goddess Riding a Dragon, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai

Goddess Riding a Dragon, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu)
5859846 Goddess Riding a Dragon, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu), c.1814 (colour woodblock print (album sheet)) by Hokusai

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Hotei Smoking his Pipe, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai

Hotei Smoking his Pipe, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu)
5859844 Hotei Smoking his Pipe, from The Picture Book of Realistic Paintings of Hokusai (Hokusai shashin gafu), c.1814 (colour woodblock print (album sheet)) by Hokusai

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Tanabe Bunzo, 1794 (colour woodblock print; oban)

The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Tanabe Bunzo, 1794 (colour woodblock print; oban)
5859701 The actor Ichikawa Yaozo III as Tanabe Bunzo, 1794 (colour woodblock print; oban) by Sharaku, Toshusai (fl.1794-95); 37.9 x 25 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Urashimataro from the triptych Set of Three Sake Cups for the First Month 1800-01

Urashimataro from the triptych Set of Three Sake Cups for the First Month 1800-01 (colour woodblock print)
8618175 Urashimataro from the triptych Set of Three Sake Cups for the First Month 1800-01 (colour woodblock print) by Utamaro

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Poem by Motoyoshi Shinnō, 1835-1836 (colour woodcut)

Poem by Motoyoshi Shinnō, 1835-1836 (colour woodcut)
8603874 Poem by Motoyoshi Shinnō, 1835-1836 (colour woodcut) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.1 x 55.3 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: A snowy morning at Koishikawa, 1830-1835 (colour woodcut)

A snowy morning at Koishikawa, 1830-1835 (colour woodcut)
8603871 A snowy morning at Koishikawa, 1830-1835 (colour woodcut) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.5 x 55.7 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Table with flower-patterned table-cloth, jewels and scythe, end of 19th century

Table with flower-patterned table-cloth, jewels and scythe, end of 19th century (colour woodblock print)
8603869 Table with flower-patterned table-cloth, jewels and scythe, end of 19th century (colour woodblock print) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.3 x 27.7 cm; Ashmolean Museum

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: The Holy Horse-Grass, 1822 (colour woodblock print)

The Holy Horse-Grass, 1822 (colour woodblock print)
8603859 The Holy Horse-Grass, 1822 (colour woodblock print) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.3 x 27.7 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Fukui Bridge in Echizen Province, 1833 (colour woodcut)

Fukui Bridge in Echizen Province, 1833 (colour woodcut)
8603857 Fukui Bridge in Echizen Province, 1833 (colour woodcut) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.4 x 55.6 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK; Image © Ashmolean Museum

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Two women dancing in front of a scroll with fans and a hobby horse, 1798 (colour woodblock print)

Two women dancing in front of a scroll with fans and a hobby horse, 1798 (colour woodblock print)
8603849 Two women dancing in front of a scroll with fans and a hobby horse, 1798 (colour woodblock print) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 27.7 x 40.5 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Book cover of Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century

Book cover of Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century
8603826 Book cover of Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century (printed textile binding) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 38 x 28 cm; Ashmolean Museum

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: A group of travelling entertainers, 1803 (colour woodblock print)

A group of travelling entertainers, 1803 (colour woodblock print)
8603854 A group of travelling entertainers, 1803 (colour woodblock print) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 27.7 x 40.5 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Two women in front of a screen depicting Mount Fuji, 1805 ( colour woodcut)

Two women in front of a screen depicting Mount Fuji, 1805 ( colour woodcut)
8603850 Two women in front of a screen depicting Mount Fuji, 1805 ( colour woodcut) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 40.4 x 27.8 cm; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century

Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century (ink and wash on paper)
8603816 Scenes from the war between Japan and Korea, end of 18th-first half of 19th century (ink and wash on paper) by Hokusai, Katsushika (1760-1849); 38 x 28 cm; Ashmolean Museum

Background imageEdo Period 1603 1868 Collection: Geography. Japan. Crossing of a river in Odawara (10th station). Woodcut by Hiroshige in

Geography. Japan. Crossing of a river in Odawara (10th station). Woodcut by Hiroshige in
3434289 Geography. Japan. Crossing of a river in Odawara (10th station). Woodcut by Hiroshige in: Fifty Three Stations of the Tokaido (1833-1834)



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The Edo Period (1603-1868) was a time of great artistic and cultural flourishing in Japan. This era, also known as the Tokugawa period, saw the rise of the samurai class and the establishment of a centralized government in Edo (now Tokyo). The art produced during this time reflected both the traditions of old Japan and the influences from abroad. In one captivating woodcut print from around 1825, we see two warriors taking a moment to relax at a bridge entrance. They sit together, smoking pipes as they contemplate their next move. The colors are vibrant, capturing their stoic yet serene demeanor. Another woodcut print from 1820 depicts an artist standing on the back of a man while writing on a column. This unique perspective showcases not only the artist's creativity but also his reliance on others for support, and is an intriguing glimpse into how artistry was valued during this period. A fisherman smoking beside a stream is depicted in another color woodcut print from around 1835. The tranquility of nature is beautifully captured here, with delicate brushstrokes bringing life to every detail - from the flowing water to the wisps of smoke rising from his pipe. One iconic image that emerged during this era is "Under the Wave off Kanagawa, " or "The Great Wave. " Created between 1830-31 by Hokusai, it portrays Mt. Fuji towering over crashing waves. This masterpiece exemplifies both Hokusai's mastery of composition and his ability to capture powerful natural forces. Moving away from traditional themes, we find ourselves witnessing extraordinary scenes like that portrayed in a woodcut print dating back to probably1910s: A spectator watches as a tiger fiercely battles against a dragon—a symbolic representation full of mystery and intrigue. Returning to more everyday scenes, an old fisherman smoking his pipe takes center stage in another color woodblock print circa 1835.