Ukiyo-e Prints Course | Exhibition Catalogs


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"Sukima is a Japanese word for a crack in a door, a narrow space that opens up when the panels of the sliding doors are pushed to the sides. ... You’ve seen enough to electrify your imagination and let it complete the picture. This is what happens when you look at a long and narrow ukiyo-e print in a pillar format – hashira-e. Or perhaps this partial sight only unleashes your curiosity and, craving a fuller view, you expand the narrow slit and can now enjoy broader vistas replete with details. For such cases ukiyo-e designers came up with upright diptychs and even triptychs.

Exploration of these two types of perception – we can describe them as an evocative one (in the case with the hashira-e) and an evidence-based (in the case of vertical polyptychs) – became a focus of an ukiyo-e prints exhibition curated by RISD students in the fall semester of 2017 as a part of their art history course. The project was based on the collection of the RISD Museum that has continuously supported students’ aspirations to acquire real- life curatorial experience. The current exhibition is the fifth in succession. ..." -- Foreword, SUKIMA: Vertical Views of the Floating World

Contributing Authors

Meredith Barone, Anna Rose Chi, Emilee Chun, Pooja Cavale, Clara Creavin, Indy Dang, Cindy Del Rio, Janice Gan, Sophi Miyoko Gullbrants, Jung Eun Han, Janice Kim, Yujin Kim, Tamao Kiser, Quincy Kuang, Osub Lee, Kirthank Manivannan, Zachary Nguyen, Jay Park, Pornmanie Na Snidvongs, Jaeyong Sung, Pornpiya Mim Tejapaibul, Lara Torrance, Clarke Waskowitz, Anna Xuan, Chi Yang, Katherine Yoon, Qianyi Zhang.

Publication Date

Fall 2017


traditional format (bookbinding process), japanese


Elena Varshavskaya


Ukiyo-e Prints (H791)




Ukiyo-e prints, pillar prints hashira-e, narrow upright compositions, Suzuki Harunobu, Isoda Koryūsai, Kitao Shigemasa, Torii Kiyonaga, Katsukawa Shunchō, Katsukawa Shuntei, Kikukawa Eizan, Keisai Eisen, Utagawa Toyoharu, Utagawa Kunisada, Utagawa Hiroshige, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Toyohara Kunichika, beautiful women genre bijinga, images of actors yakusha-e, images of warriors musha-e, images of ghosts yūreizu, flower-and-bird prints kachōga, high ranking courtesan tayū, top ranking courtesan oiran, courtesan’s apprentice kamuro, beauty looking back mikaeri bijin, courtesan’s parade dōchū, Immortal Kinko, the Seven Gods of Fortune


Art and Design | Japanese Studies | Theory and Criticism

SUKIMA: Vertical Views of the Floating World (2017)



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