The Japanese style of art known as ukiyo-e, which formed the mainstay of paintings and woodblock prints produced between the seventeenth and the twentieth centuries, depicted shadowy projections of the human mind, a transient realm of pleasures, horrors, and dreams. Focusing on yokai—mystic visions and mythic or monstrous beasts—this book collects a variety of woodblock prints from the nineteenth century, images whose subject matter covers the entire spectrum of the supernatural and the outlandish. These stunning works appear in triptych format, which gave ukiyo-e artists the freedom to express their fantasies as narratives in a kinetic, detailed image frame. The work of over twenty different artists is featured in one hundred triptychs, which are spread over five different categories: kaiju (strange beasts), yurei (ghosts), oni (demons), juryoku (mystic forces), and yojutsu (black magic). This book also contains a special section for yakusha-e, prints directly depicting supernatural scenes from the kabuki theater. An important influence on many Western artists, including Van Gogh, Klimt, Degas, Manet, and Gauguin, ukiyo-e has played a vital role in art history. Offering many prints never previously published, Yokai will amaze enthusiasts of Japanese art and culture.
About the Author
Ringo Yoshida was born and lives in Osaka, Japan. He is a long-term collector and historian of nineteenth-century ukiyo-e.