These are Edo period woodblock illustrations (from the late 1700s to early 1800s). Of that much I am certain. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Needless to say this disparate collection is by a variety of artists from a number of books. It is hosted by the Fukuoka University in Western Japan. 'Click everywhere' is the motto I followed. The translations were, at best, confusing.
Regrettably, the images are not particularly large. All of the above examples have had the watermark removed together with a variable amount of background restoration (silverfish/pest damage/staining). One hopes some preservation work on the originals is being undertaken. Still, it's a nice set, with early cartoons, random fun doodle-like figures, caricatures and more elaborate scenes, all manifested through the mostly sparse line work and precise multi-woodblock printing technique.
Inadvertently via the Architecture on Paper blog.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Posted by peacay at 4:15 p.m.