Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Woodblocks of 19th-Century Kabuki Actors

Unknown artist, “Internal bodily functions dramatized by popular kabuki actors
(Kinrai ryūkō kabuki uwasa Kenbutsu no hara)” (late 19th century), woodblock
(courtesy UC San Francisco, Special Collections)

The opening of Japan in the 19th century after its isolationist Edo period caused an influx of foreign influence,including Western approaches to medicine. Woodblock prints from this era, often in the vibrant ukiyo-e style, captured this transition, with kabuki actors representing internal processes, and Buddhist deities battling cholera and measles.
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