Glossary of Terms

Click on the letter to go to the desired section.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Letter A

Abuna-e (Risqu pictures): Ukiyo-e which illustrate mildly erotic scenes.

Aiban: a print size between chuban and ban; 13-1/2 x 8-3/4 inches (34 x 22 cm).

Aizuri-e (Blue printed pictures): prints done in shades of blue and which were seen in the prints of the late 1820s to 1840s. An attempt to evade the government's austerity edicts against the more colorful nishiki-e.

Ajari (literally, "holy man"): a Buddhist title.

Akita ranga style: name given to the type of pseudo-Western painting done in Akita in the 18th century, which combined the Western chiaroscuro and perspective of Dutch engravings with the detailed naturalism of some Chinese 18th-century painting.

Ako: town in Harima, famous for its daimyo Asano Naganori and the "Forty-seven Ronin".

Akoya: famous courtesan of Kyoto, mistress of the Heika captain of the Kagekiyo.

Ami: the name of the family of hereditary artistic advisers and painters to the shogunate in the 15th and 16th centuries. Nami, his son Geiami, and his grandson Sami were the most important members.

Amida: the Buddha Amida, Lord of Infinite Light; the most widely worshiped of all the manifestations of the Buddha.

Amida triad: the Buddha Amida between two Bodhisattvas.

Angya: a pilgrimage made by a disciple from one Zen master to another.

Aohon: Illustrated booklets, predecessors of the Kibyoshi.

Aragoto (Rough stuff): highly stylized and fierce acting style in the Kabuki theatre.

Aratame: censorship seal, used from early 1854-1871; or "name changed to" used by artists when adopting a new nom de plume.

Asazuma-bune: boat used by "floating harlots".

Ashi-naga: long-legged mythical personages.

Asuka-yama: hill at Oji, north of Edo, famous for it's cherry blossoms.

Atago: Shinto god who protects tuns from fires.

Atami: seaport in Izo, famous for it's hot springs.

Atari: a successful stage play.

Ato-zuri: a late impression of a print.

Awabi: abalone.

Ayatori: the game of cat's cradle.

Azukari: chief artist and director of the Edokoro. He combined functions of court painter and keeper of the imperial collection of paintings.

Azuma nishiki-e (literally, "eastern embroidered pictures"): paintings in many colors resembling silk embroideries from Azuma, or Eastern Japan.

Azusa: catalpa, wood used for early printing blocks.

top arrow back to top