Floating World or Ukiyo

Ukiyo is the Japanese term “Floating World”, and refers to theĀ care-free and pleasure-seeking lifestyle characteristic of the prosperous Edo-period in Japan between 1600-1867.

In art Ukiyo-e are the pictures of the floating world in the form of woodblock prints. These then inexpensive prints depicted geishas, kabuki actors, samurais, and social gatherings.

A number of ukiyo-e artists were painters, but most of their works resulted in prints. However, the artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing. There soon was a division of labourĀ in the sense that the artist designed the prints; the carver cut the woodblocks; the printer printed, and some financed and distributed the works.

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