If you’re interested in traveling back in time and seeing the Japan of yesteryear through one of the country’s best known art forms, read on.
We’ve got a few copies of the book, “Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan” to give away. The 168-page book collects almost 200 prints by some of the country’s best known artists. Included among the pages of “Japan Journeys” are celebrated works that depict iconic images of Japan, as well as more subtle pieces that reveal intriguing details about daily life during centuries gone by.
When it comes to Japanese woodblock prints, the images that immediately come to mind are those of Katsuhika Hokusai. Even if you don’t know the name, you undoubtedly know his “Great Wave Off Kanagawa.”
Hokusai’s prints, and the work of other famous woodblock artists—such as Utagawa Hiroshige and Kitagawa Utamaro—are included, but even people who are not great fans of the art form will be impressed by the breadth of the prints contained in the book. Japan’s natural beauty gets plenty of representation on these pages, but also scenes that show how people traveled, relaxed, dressed, and ate during a period of significant cultural transformation. Some of the later pieces show images from the mid-20th century, where small symbols of the changing times can clearly be seen: a man wearing an overcoat with kimono-style sleeves and a fedora, or a paper lantern in front of Tokyo Station.
For long-time residents, people who have just arrived, or would-be visitors who are gathering up inspiration to make the trip over, seeing some of Japan’s most famous sites and sights as they were hundreds of years ago is made more of a pleasure thanks to the high quality of the printing and the vivid colors of the print reproductions. An introductory essay and insightful captions by the art historian Andreas Marks, an expert curator and researcher in the field of Japanese art, adds historical and intellectual heft to the volume.
If you’re interested in entering the giveaway for a copy of the book, please leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of the page, in which you answer the following question:
If you had to leave Japan tomorrow and never come back, what would you miss the most?
(If you’re feeling too shy to leave your answer in public, you can also send your answer in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
You can read more about the book on the website for the publisher, Tuttle Books, who is sponsoring the giveaway: www.tuttlepublishing.com/books-by-country/japan-journeys-hardcover-with-jacket or at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.