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The World's Smallest Museum of UKIYOE ~ A Disappearing Japanese Culture

Ukiyoe is a style of woodblock printing in Japan, which developed during the Edo period (1603 - 1867).  It depicts landscapes, everyday life, tales from history, kabuki actors, beautiful women and so on.
   * reference images for ukiyoe 

Ukiyoe is also known because it had a strong influence on such impressionists as Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

However, this traditional Japanese art form is on the brink of disappearing.  The current environment does not favor the successors, and the number of ukiyoe craftsmen has been decreasing.

ukiyoe woodblockWoodblock_2

Ukiyoe prints require various stages of work done mainly by three types of craftsmen; drawer, engraver and printer.

  drawer: make a master drawing
  engraver: carve the drawing on woodblocks
  printer: ink each woodblock in different colors
            and print the picture on paper

It takes a long time to master these techniques.

It is said that today there are only about 30 printers left in Kyoto and that only about 50 printers remain throughout Japan.

One of the ukiyoe printers, Mr. Mamoru ICHIMURA, was concerned about ukiyoe's future and so ten year ago decided to open his workshop to the public in order to let people know more about ukiyoe.

Mr. Mamoru Ichimura, ukiyoe printerMr_ichimura
Since then, his workshop ( as well as residence ), Ichimura Ichibodo, has been open to anyone who is interested in ukiyoe.

Ichimura Ichibodo
Ichimura_ichibodo_2
On your trip to Kyoto, please make a short visit to his workshop, which he calls "The world's smallest museum of UKIYOE."  It is just a 10-minute walk from Hankyu Kawara-machi Station, and is located in front of the Chokushi-mon Gate of Kennin-ji Temple.

At the museum you can see an old-style ukiyoe workshop, a variety of ukiyoe works and how ukiyoe are painted.Workshop

Works

Woodblocks
You can also buy some artworks.  Postcards are reasonably priced.  In addition, Mr. Ichimura will happily show you how to do an ukiyoe print and let you have a go yourself.Kinkakuji_2
Oboro

Mr. Ichimura loves meeting people from Japan and overseas, even though he can't speak any foreign languages.  Whether or not you can speak Japanese, please enjoy meeting Mr. Ichimura and exploring his little museum.

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コメント

読んでいて、「市村一房堂」さん是非行ってみたいと思わせる、情熱のこもったエッセイですね。お写真との相乗効果で素晴らしいです。

投稿: snowwhite | 2010/10/11 20:30

>snowwhiteさん

有難うございます

文章はすぐに書いたのですが
写真の選択、配置にちょっと悩んで
アップロードまで時間がかかりました

後継者がだんだん少なくなり
浮世絵の技術・伝統をを受け継ぐ人がいなくなってしまうのは残念です

なんとかならないかなって思います・・・

投稿: wisteria | 2010/10/11 21:07

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投稿: tagesgeldkonto | 2010/11/04 04:01

> Dear tagesgeldkonto

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It motivated me to keep writing.

Thank you very much:)

投稿: wisteria | 2010/11/04 20:06

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