Samurai Ghost and Monster Wars: Supernatural Art By Kuniyoshi (Ukiyo-e Master Series)

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9781840683042: Samurai Ghost and Monster Wars: Supernatural Art By Kuniyoshi (Ukiyo-e Master Series)
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Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) is regarded as one of the true masters of ukiyo-e, the art of Edo-period Japan. Kuniyoshi produced thousands of prints and designs during his lifetime, but is perhaps best-known for his musha-e ("warrior prints”), with which he came to prominence in 1830. Kuniyoshi's series 108 Heroes Of The Suikoden from that year was revolutionary in its dynamics, colour and visual violence, epitomising the delirious, almost proto-psychedelic style with with the artist would recreate archetypal figures - both human and demonic - from Japanese myth over the ensuing decades.

SAMURAI GHOST AND MONSTER WARS, edited by Jack Hunter (who also edited the ground-breaking extreme ukiyo-e anthology "Dream Spectres”), collects and considers 100 of Kuniyoshi's most vivid and complex images of warriors, spectres, demons and monstrous beasts, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout.

First in a dynamic new series presenting the cutting edge of 19th century Japanese art.

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1862) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. The range of Kuniyoshi's preferred subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, cats, and mythical animals. He is best known for his stunning depictions of the battles of samurai and legendary heroes, ghosts and monsters.

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SAMURAI GHOST AND MONSTER WARS collects and considers 100 of Kuniyoshi's most vivid and complex images of warriors, spectres, demons and monstrous beasts, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout. It features both stand-alone works from various stages of Kuniyoshi's career, and works taken from various series. The series that are sampled in the book include the following: 108 Heroes Of The Suikoden (Tszoku Suikoden gketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori, 1827-30); 800 Heroes Of Our Country's Suikoden (Honch Suikoden gy happyaku-nin no hitori, 1830-1836); Pictures Of The 8 Trigrams In Chinese Divination (Sh-yeki hake-ye, 1835); Birds And Beasts (Kinj zue, 1837); 100 Generals Brave In battle At Kawanokajima (Kawanakajima hyaku ysh sen no uchi, 1845); Men Of Ready Money With True Labels Attached: Kuniyoshi Fashion (Kuniyoshi moy shfuda tsuketari genkin otoko, 1845) - in which Kuniyoshi showcases his own designs for apparel patterned with human skulls and demons from Hell - 10 Famous Excellencies Of Tametomo (Tametomo homare no jikketsu, 1848); Courageous Generals Of Kai And Echigo Provinces: The 24 Generals of The Takeda Clan (Ketsu ysh den, 1848); 8 Views Of Military Brilliance (Ybu hakkei, 1852); 69 Stations Of The Kisokaido Road (Kisokaid rokujku tsugi, 1852); 12 Zodiac Signs And 12 Japanese Heroes (Eiy Yamato jni-shi, 1854); Japanese And Chinese Comparisons For The Chapters Of Genji (Wakan nazorae Genji, 1855); Mirror Of Warriors Of Our Country (Honch musha kagami, 1855); Heroes Matched To 5 Colours (Eiy goshiki awase, 1857), and Kuniyoshi's Analogies For The Six Conditions Of Nature (Rokuyosei Kuniyoshi jiman, 1860). Along with legendary warriors, giant beasts and evil ghosts, Kuniyoshi represents in his designs a host of strange creatures from Japanese folklore - creatures such as cat-witches and cat-ogres; the kappa (a mutant water imp); the mujina (a badger-demon that likes to impersonate priests); the tanuki (raccoon-dog with huge testicles); the raijin (a thunder-monster); the kitsune (a nine-tailed fox); the tengu (a ferocious mountain spirit with a bird's head or beak); the nue (a hybrid with monkey's head, raccoon-dog's body and tiger's legs); the tsuchigumo or demonic ground spider; and various malignant oni (goblins and demons). Taken together, the 100 images in SAMURAI GHOST AND MONSTER WARS comprise a stunning introduction to the art and imagination of an unsurpassed 19th century master.

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Published by Shinbaku Books (2012)
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