UKIYO-E - "images from the floating world” - were the most popular art-form of 19th century Japan. Like modern-day manga, these prints could be mass-produced and were admired by people from all sectors of society; and as in manga, the art of ukiyo-e included significant sub-genres dealing in violence, erotica and horror.
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a student of ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi, showed a predilection towards two types of subject in his early work: exceptionally bloody musha-e ("warror prints”), and supernatural images of demons and ghosts. Learn More
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, apprenticed to ukiyo-e master Kuniyoshi since his adolescence, was twenty years old when he first began to make sketches of severed heads and dismembered corpses. Soon he would start to incorporate this imagery into his work, and his vivid and bloody battle scenes quickly caught the public eye. Learn More
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. Learn More
Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-89) was only 6 years old when he joined the school of the great ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi, along with such fellow pupils as Yoshitoshi, who followed him in 1850. Learn More
The story of the 47 ronin - a band of samurai who became masterless after the enforced seppuku (ritual suicide) of their daimyo, Asano Takumi-no-Kami Naganori - is a legend which stems from a true historical episode of deadly revenge during the period 1701-1703. Learn More
The female ghost or yurei (literally, "faded spirit”) is perhaps the most recognizable figure in Japanese horror culture, powerfully reinforced through the success of Japanese ghost films such as Ringu ("The Ring”) and Ju-On ("The Grudge”).
In the late 19th and early 20th century, several Western writers who visited the newly-opened Japan assimilated, translated and published a host of weird, scary and stirring stories from the country's ancient folklore. Learn More
As the creation of Japanese woodblock prints grew in popularity in the late Edo period, tigers could be found in the designs of many important ukiyo-e artists, either alone or shown in conflict with legendary Japanese warriors and tiger-hunters such as Kato Kiyomasa, “conqueror” of Korea. Learn More