Yōkai and Yūrei: Monsters, Ghosts and Demons in Japan

Yōkai and Yūrei: Monsters, Ghosts and Demons in Japan
Yōkai, roughly translated as monster or demon, and yūrei, roughly translated as ghosts, are so well integrated into Japan that it’s inconceivable to imagine them removed from the cultural landscape. While Pokémon reinvented the idea of yōkai for new generations at home and introduced the ...
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Otsukimi: Autumn Moon Viewing Parties

Otsukimi: Autumn Moon Viewing Parties
Japan’s Autumn Moon Viewing, known as Otsukimi (お月見), is thought to have formally originated in the Heian Period. Like many of the seasonal celebrations of the era, these night time gatherings would see aristocrats come together to write poetry and music under the full harvest moon.This ...
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Japan's Summer Traditions

Japan's Summer Traditions
In Summer, heatwaves and sunny days seem to be more and more common in the UK, so looking for ways to keep cool and make the most of the hotter months are more important than ever. In Britain we are not used to intense temperatures, and therefore are more equipped for the cold and rain than ...
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The Master of Mingei Pottery, Hamada Shoji

The Master of Mingei Pottery, Hamada Shoji
Hamada Shōji was a prolific Mingei folk craft potter of the 20th century. His laidback forms and energetic decorations disguise a master of ceramics, whose skill and vision shaped studio pottery throughout the previous century and into the present day. While his shapes are precisely controlled and ...
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New Acquisitions: Military Honour in Musha-e

New Acquisitions: Military Honour in Musha-e
   This month at the Japanese Gallery, we have had some exciting new acquisitions centring around the Musha-e genre.   Musha-e are prints that depict samurai and warriors, often in battle. The famous woodblock print artist Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1798 - 1861) was a dominating force within this genre ...
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Gishi-sai Festival - The 47 Faithful Samurai

Gishi-sai Festival - The 47 Faithful Samurai
Gishi-sai Festival - The 47 Faithful Samurai Gishi-sai is an annual winter festival held at Sengaku-ji Temple in Tokyo. It honours 47 brave rōnin (浪人, masterless samurai) who gave their lives to avenge their lord and master in an event known as the Genroku Akō Incident (元禄赤穂事件 ...
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Guide to Standard Woodblock Print Sizes

Guide to Standard Woodblock Print Sizes
Hosho paper (奉書紙) is a washi (和紙) paper made of mulberry tree bark fibres and was commonly used for the production of Japanese woodblock prints. It was strong enough to withstand the pressure of a tool called the baren (馬連) when it was rubbed over the paper, but was soft enough to ...
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Katsukawa School (1760s-1810s)

Katsukawa School (1760s-1810s)
More prints depicting actors of the kabuki theatre were produced in the Edo period (1603-1868) than all other subjects combined. The beginning of the 18th century saw the popularity of kabuki theatre expanding to the society at large. The dramatic growth in number, variety, and quality of actor ...
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