Thursday, 26 April 2012

Words : EHON 絵本


E-hon chiyomigusa (Illustrated book of the thousand floating grasses) by Nishikawa Sukenobu

Kuroneko Yamato (Black Cat of Yamato) by Katsushika Hokusai

Ehon mushi erami by Kitagawa Utamaro

Ehon mushi erami by Kitagawa Utamaro

Ehon mushi erami by Kitagawa Utamaro
Seiro bijin awase sugata kagami (Mirror of Beautiful Women of the Green Houses) by Katsukawa Shunsho and Kitao Shigemasa

Ehon shungа print by Shuncho Yushido




Since about seventeenth eighteenth century Japanese have been publishing illustrated books consisting mainly of pictures and possibly a few words. Picture books. Ehon or e-hon. The books were produced using predominantly black and white prints on thin paper. Then nineteenth century brought an avalanche of printed matter, flooding the market with colour prints, produced using multiple blocks.
Ehon books were highly sought after in Europe and the USA - as a result most of them are now kept in Western collections, rather than in Japan. Well, I suppose this can be said about most of the artefacts from Asia or Africa.











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