The great points of Ukiyoe in the isolation period!
What is the meaning of the national isolation era which Ukiyoe reveals?!
In the Edo period, European countries where trade was possible with Japan were only the Netherlands because of the promising not to spread Christianity, but since the shogunate believed that letting Dutch people living in “Dejima” makes the life in “Dejima” becomes too European, so the trade business was conducted with not only Dutch but also Chinese merchants. However, it became forbidden (policy of seclusion) since Christianity has already spread to the people and problems have occurred in trade. The policy of seclusion was not decided at once, but it was gradually built up by Ieyasu Tokugawa step by step. Such background and the situation at that time is also left in this Ukiyoe picture, and it is becoming one of the means to convey the historical situations easily to the modern age.
Before the Edo period, Ukiyoe has been said to be “Ukiyo“, in other words “mundaneness”, and has the meaning of “a world that is harsh and vain, public that is easy to be changed”. However, when the peace comes to the world of war, the mind of people gradually became bright, sunny and changed to be in a stare of “Ukiyoe”, meaning “contemporary and present style”, and the paintings written also became to have the modern appearances, which centered around the beautiful women and popular Kabuki actors/landscape that people can get excited with.
Moreover, the original Ukiyoe pictures were like posters and leaflets, which were disposable in everyday life which had the image of Ukiyoe equals the everyday life and situations, but by wonderful painters such as Katsushika Hokusai, it started to attract many people and be recognized by its highly artistic aspect by the world . It is not easy to leave the visible scenes in the form of paintings, but don’t you think there are just those art works that were depicted with various minds by the wonderful talented painters while capturing the visible scenes? Otherwise, it will not be a work that fascinates the world. If you take a look at the art while remembering the background of those time periods, you might have a different perspectives. So why don’t you try to look them carefully?