Andon 110 offers a special focus on Japanese woodblock-print culture. Capucine Korenberg delves into the complex subject of the original versus the reproduction in a discussion of undoubtedly the most iconic of all woodblock prints, Katsushika Hokusai’s 1831 The Great Wave. Moving from the celebrated and the well-known, this issue also explores lesser-known genres of Japanese woodblock prints. Oikawa Shigeru introduces us to the type of prints known as shikake-e (‘trick pictures’) to reveal how the publishing industry adapted to the vicissitudes of the changing world of kabuki performance and accommodated the portrayal of scenes with multiple actors. Tony Cole, Robert Tauxe and Ann Herring present a brief overview of the woodblock-printed toy print – the constructed diorama – in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka and how regional differences defined their production.
The Kamigata (Osaka/Kyoto area) provides the backdrop for two further articles. The first by Ellis Tinios gives an eloquent account of Japanese society through the eyes of the Kyoto artist Yamaguchi Soken. In the second, John Fiorillo shares his discovery of a print by the Osaka print designer Hasegawa Munehiro that illustrates the obscure Osaka performer Ichikawa Gyokuen.
Beatrice B. Shoemaker takes us outside this popular realm of woodblock prints and books to the rarefied culture of tea in her investigation of the Kyoto tea master Hayami Sōtatsu and the Hayami school of tea. Julia Hutt’s expert review of a publication on Japanese lacquer from 1890 to 1950 rounds off Andon 110.