We’ve teamed up with Taschen to offer one lucky SeeJapan reader the chance to win the perfect coffee table book - a copy of Utagawa Hiroshige’s prints of old Tokyo.
City lights and cherry trees - One Hundred Famous Views of Edo is a dazzling reprint of the woodblock print series by master ukiyo-e woodblock artist Utagawa Hiroshige that captured Europe’s imagination. One of the masterpieces of the ukiyo-e woodblock tradition and a paradigm of the Japonisme movement, it inspired countless artists across many schools of art, from Impressionism to Art Nouveau.
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) was one of the last great artists in the ukiyo-e tradition. Literally meaning “pictures of the floating world,” ukiyo-e was a genre of art that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries and came to characterize the Western world’s visual idea of Japan. In many ways images of hedonism, ukiyo-e scenes often represented the bright lights and attractions of Edo (modern-day Tokyo): beautiful women, actors and wrestlers, city life, and spectacular landscapes.
Although he captured a variety of subjects, Hiroshige was most famous for his outstandingly beautiful and intriguingly detailed landscapes. Depicting various scenes of the city through the seasons, from bustling shopping streets to splendid cherry orchards, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1856–1858) is considered as his final masterpiece series. The series was paid for up-front by a wealthy Buddhist priest who was in love with the daughter of the publisher, and Hiroshige produced 118 sheets for it over the final decade of his life, beginning in around 1848.
Taschen’s handsome reprint is made from one of the finest complete original sets of woodblock prints of the series belonging to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo. It pairs each of the 120 illustrations with a description, allowing readers to immerse themselves in Hiroshige’s exquisite, vibrant vistas that became paradigms of Japonisme and inspired Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Art Nouveau artists alike, from Vincent van Gogh to James McNeill Whistler.
Win a Copy of One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
“This publication transcends the coffee table cliché by combining beauty with information.” — ART news Magazine, New York
This beautiful edition of Hiroshige’s series of famous views of Edo will make the perfect coffee table adornment to impress your guests - or to browse through yourself when there’s nothing decent on the box and imagine yourself transported back in time to the lively and ever-entertaining streets of Japan’s capital city in the mid-1800s.
You can purchase a copy of One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
on Taschen's website here
. Or can buy the book through major retailers such as WH Smith (£10.49 - purchase here
) or Amazon (£13.78 - purchase here
Alternatively, we have one copy of Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo to give away to a lucky SeeJapan reader!
All you have to do to enter is email firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name and postal address and tell us your favourite view of Tokyo.
We will randomly select the winner on 16th January 2018 and post the book during the same week. Good luck!
Learn more about Hiroshige’s Edo, the subjects of his works, and the pictorial innovations that made his woodblock series possible on Taschen's website here.
About the Series
Bibliotheca Universalis is a series of compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic Taschen universe at an unbeatable, democratic price. Since they started their work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, Taschen has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing. Bibliotheca Universalis brings together more than 100 of their all-time favorite titles in a neat new format, enabling readers to curate their own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia. Bookworm’s delight—never bore, always excite!
About the Authors
Before taking her doctorate in Far Eastern art history at the University of Heidelberg, Melanie Trede worked at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. She was assistant professor at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University from 1999 to 2004. Since then she has been Professor of Far Eastern art history at the University of Heidelberg.
Lorenz Bichler studied Sinology, Japanese studies, and Modern History in Zurich and Beijing. Following scholarships at Waseda and Tokai universities in Japan, he was appointed assistant professor of politics at New York University in 1999. He has held non-established teaching posts at various universities, and given online instruction at the New School of Social Research. He has been a freelance sinologist working in Heidelberg since 2004.
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