Andon 80

June 2006

Andon 80

EDITORIAL: In the Meiji era, for a short period (1874-6), the citizens of Japan's metropolises enjoyed 'news nishiki-e'. These traditionally produced colour woodblock prints featured illustrated news-related human-interest stories told in an entertaining and didactic way. William Wetherall and Mark Schreiber, who have made a detailed study of these publications, review the rise and fall of this phenomenon. With their translations and explicatians of some examples they enable us to share the same sense of excitement, delight, horror, pathos, sorrow, titillation, and amusement that moved the people who bought them fresh off the blocks. Nearly twenty-five years earlier, Kuniyoshi had designed nishiki-e of a quíte different character. These, while not exactly news nishiki-e, are nevertheless entertaining and didactic prints depicting the exploits of the heroic forty-seven masterless samurai who revenged their lord's death. Many of us may know David Weinberg's pioneering publication on these nishiki-e. He now íntroduces us to some recent discoveries. In the series 'Terra incognita' we have a new contribution. Mónika Bincsik, curator at the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern Asiatic Arts in Budapest, guides us through the history of their Japanese collection, showing us some of the highlights. When planning a visit to Hungary, do be sure not to miss the opportunity of visiting this interesting museum. Johan Somerwil presents us with another enigmatic Buddhist deity. This time, he relates how he discovered a statue of the secretive Kangi-ten in an antique shop in Japan. When he asked the shop owner for the price, the man decisively shook his head and said: "Is not for you". We conclude this issue of Andon with tributes to two recently deceased eminent scholars in the field of ukiyo-e: B.W. Robinson, greatly appreciated for his books on Kuniyoshi, and Jacob Pins, artist and collector, with a solid reputation as a connoisseur of Japanese pillar prints.

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June 2006