The art of ukiyo-e (the floating world) originated in the city of Edo (1603-1867, now Tokyo), when the political and military power of Japan was in the hands of the shoguns. Comprising six essays, six plate sections and over 600 illustrations this beautiful book provides a perfect introduction to the art of this period. The paintings, scrolls and prints reproduced here demonstrate not only the new urban pleasures of the theatre, restaurants, teahouses and geisha, but also Japan's love of nature and tradition. Professor Calza's accessible style provides a fascinating yet scholarly study of such masters as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro.
Gian Carlo Calza is Professor of East Asian Art History at the University of Venice, and Director of the International Hokusai Research Centre in Milan. He has published many books, exhibition catalogues and articles on Hokusai, and is currently preparing a catalogue raisonne of Hokusai's paintings. He was awarded the 2004 Uchiyama Prize by the International Ukiyo-e Society of Tokyo for his contribution to the study of Japanese Ukiyo-e ('Floating World') culture.