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Print Genres

Print Genres

aizuri-e 藍摺絵 - blue (indigo) print referring to prints using a blue key block and prints strongly colored with Prussian (Berlin) blue, a synthetic ink.

banzuke 番付 - ranking list (e.g. of sumo wrestlers and actors)

benizuri-e 紅刷絵 - literally "pink printing pictures" An early technique for producing color woodblock prints, using two color blocks, a light green and a light red.

bijinga 美人画 - prints of beautiful women

bijin kuchi-e 雑誌口絵 - prints of beautiful women inserted into mainly Taishō era magazines as illustrations for serialized stories or as frontispieces. 

bunmei kaika-e 文明開化 - pictures of civilization and enlightenment (i.e. modernity in the Meiji era)

edehon 画手本 – illustrated manuals

egoyomi 絵暦 - calendar print

ehon 絵本 - illustrated book

ehon banzuke 絵本番付 - illustrated theater program

fūkei-ga 風景画 - landscape print

fukusei-ga 複製画 and fukusei hanga 復製版画 - reproductions of older prints or print reproductions of paintings

fūshi-ga 風刺画 - satirical prints

gafu 画譜 - picture book

genji-e 源氏絵 - illustrations on the theme of Genji monogatari

giga 戯画 -  playful prints, caricatures

gōkan 合巻 – illustrated novels

hangi-e 判じ絵 - print based on rebuses or visual puns

hanshita-e 版下絵 - block copy; a finished design on thin paper used to carve the outlines of a design on the main keyblock

harimaze-e 張交絵 or 貼交絵-  prints of two or more subjects on a single page.

hashika-e 麻疹が - measles prints

hikifuda 引札 - handbill, advertisement

kabuki-ga 歌舞伎が or kabuki-e 歌舞伎絵 - kabuki prints

kachō-e 花鳥絵 – prints of flowers and birds

kage-e 影絵 - shadow prints

kamigata-e 上方絵 - prints produced in the Kyoto/Osaka region primarily portraying actors

kanban 看板 – theater billboards

kanjo-e 官女絵 – women of the court prints

kappazuri-e 合羽摺絵 -  stencil print

kawari-e 異り絵 – composite pictures

keidai-ga 境内画 - precinct prints, often "birds-eye-views" depicting the environs of a temple shrine or building complexes

koma-e こま絵 - print with illustrated cartouche

kumiage-e 組上げ絵 - construction print

kuchi-e 口絵 - frontispiece

kusazōshi 草双紙 – woodblock printed illustrated fiction popular in the Edo and early-Meiji periods

kyō-ga 狂画 crazy pictures

kyōiku nishiki-e 教育錦絵 - educational color woodblock prints

kyōzai-ga 教材- teaching (instructional) pictures

meisho keshiki – scenes of famous places

meisho-e 名所絵 – pictures of famous places

mitate-e 見立絵 - parody print

monogatari-e 物語絵 - story/legend pictures

musha-e 武者絵 – warrior prints

nakami 中身 – pictures depicting an actual performance (inside illustrations)

namazu-e 鯰絵 - catfish prints

nenjū gyōji-e 年中行事絵 – pictures of annual events

nigao-e 似顔絵 – actor portraits (actor's likeness)

nishiki-e 錦絵 – "brocade picture"; color woodblock print

nishiki-e shinbun 新聞 錦絵 - illustrated newspaper (current even) prints

nishiki-e shūshindan 錦絵 修身 - moral education print

nizura 似面 – portraits

nōgakuzue 能楽図絵 - pictures of Noh plays

ōgi 扇 – fans

ōkubi-e 大首絵 – large head, bust portrait, half-length actor portraits

omocha-e 玩具絵 - toy prints

onna-e 女絵 – women pictures

Ōsaka-e 大阪Ōsaka print

oshi-e 押絵/押し絵 – “padded" or "pressed" pictures

Ōtsu-e 大津絵 - "pictures from Ōtsu"; folk pictures produced by anonymous artists in Ōmi Province (present-day Shiga Prefecture) during the Edo period; term also applied to prints using these early folk themes

rekishi-e 歴史絵 - prints of historical figures

ruiji abura-e 類似 油絵 – copies of oil paintings

sansui-ga 山水画 - landscape scenes of an idealized nature

sashi-e shinbun 新聞 挿絵 – newspaper illustrations

sensu-e 扇子絵 - folding fan prints

shasei kikō 写生記行 - sketch-tour

shibai-e 芝居絵 - prints of dramatic plays and kabuki actors

shini-e 死絵 -  "death pictures", memorial prints

shin hanga 新版画 - new print

shunga 春画 - erotic print

sōga 挿画 - book illustration

sosaku hanga 創作版画 - creative print

sugoroku 双六 – a type of game board

sumizuri-e 墨摺り絵 - "black ink printed pictures". A print done in black and white, sometimes with shades of grey.

sumo-e 相撲 - wrestler print

surimono 摺物 - privately commissioned prints (literally "printed thing")

toba-e 鳥羽絵 - thought to be named after Toba Sōjō 鳥羽僧正(1053-1140), the author of the humorous ink-drawn handscrolls sketches, the Chōjū jinbutsu giga 鳥獣人物戯画, toba-e are rough sketches involving subtle puns or comic situations

tōyama-e - patent medicine prints

uchiwa-e 団扇絵 – fan prints

uki-e 浮絵 - "perspective print" using Western conventions of linear perspective

ukiyo-e 浮世絵 - prints of the floating world

yakusha-e 役者絵- actor prints

yakusha-e nigao 役者絵 似顔– actor likenesses

yakuwari banzuke 役割番付 - program of actor names, crests and rankings

Yokohama-e 横浜絵 - "Yokohama pictures" depicting non-East Asian foreigners and scenes in the port city of Yokohama

zasshi kuchi-e 雑誌口絵 - a magazine color illustration/frontispiece. A general term for prints associated with mainly Taishō era popular magazines, generally reproduced by offset lithography.


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