“Comical Ukiyo-e -Humorous Pictures and the School of Kuniyoshi “
This event has ended.
The people of Edo loved comical performances. Sophisticated and refined comedy developed in various fields including kabuki plays, literature, and rakugo (a traditional Japanese form of comic storytelling). In the field of ukiyo-e wood-block prints, attractive pieces full of refined humor prospered especially in the late Edo period with Utagawa Kuyniyoshi at its center. Cats and plants were personified to move about lively and the greed of humans was turned into caricatures. Artwork developed where one would look for the hidden meaning from the hints provided in the picture. One cannot help but smile at such innovative ideas. In some the intellectual wit makes one laugh. Others have a lightheartedness that invites a wry smile. The rich culture of laughter that flourished during the Edo period can be said to be the source of laughter in modern day comics and comedy programs. This exhibition introduces the Edo world of laughter through the works of ukiyo-e wood-block prints.