Ukiyo-e Prints Course | Exhibition Catalogs


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"The book “Striking Chords: music in ukiyo-e prints” is a student version of a scholarly catalog that accompanies the RISD Museum’s ukiyo-e prints exhibition of the same title. ... This exhibition is a culmination of an ukiyo-e art history course taught at RISD in the fall of 2021. The project was generously accommodated by the RISD Museum. With the help of Wai Yee Chiong, Associate Curator of Asian Art, fifteen prints were selected from the collection of the RISD Museum. For the exhibition’s online component, which is still under construction, additional prints were chosen – two more from the RISD collection, four from the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia, and one from a private collection. All these works are included in the catalog. ... In the spirit of the exhibition topic, this project prompted the entire class to work in concordance as if an instrumental ensemble or even an orchestra. It is the students’ hope that their “Striking Chords” project does indeed strike a chord in the exhibition visitors." -- Foreword, Striking Chords: music in ukiyo-e prints

Contributing Authors

Joanne Ahn, Benjamin Anderson, Miranda Cancelosi, Yuanyuan Yuki Cao, Zhenrui Ray Cao, Naiqian Chen, Julia Chien, Lynn Cho, Yewon Chun, Zewei Feng, Jamie Gim, Nicholas Grassi, Tzu-Chun Hsu, Jessie Jing, Jackson Kneath, Yingshuet Celine Lam, Haoyu Li, Rilia Li, Jason Liao, Serene Lin, Yichen Ariel Pan, Lydia Pinkhassik, Xiaoqi Shen, Shuixin Wang, Jihyun Woo, Catherine Wu, Jack Wulf, Liu Yang, Yue Zi, Qi Caroline Zou.

Publication Date

Fall 2021


traditional format (bookbinding process), japanese


Elena Varshavskaya


Ukiyo-e Prints (H791)




Ukiyo-e prints, nishiki-e “brocade pictures”, privately commissioned prints surimono, The Seven Gods of Good Fortune Shichifukujin, Goddess of Music and Knowledge Benzaiten (Benten for short), Kitao Shigemasa, Torii Kiyomitsu, Torii Kiyomitsu II, Torii Kiyonaga, Kitagawa Utamaro, Kitagawa Utamaro II, Chōbunsai Eishi, Utagawa Toyokuni I, Utagawa Toyokuni II (Toyoshige), Utagawa Toyokuni III (Kunisada), Utagawa Hiroshige, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Utagawa Yoshimori, Lute biwa, moon lute gekkin, zither koto, three-stringed shamisen, two-headed hourglass-shaped drum tsuzumi, images of narrators onstage degatari-zu, visually impaired female itinerant musicians goze, cherry blossoms’ viewing hanami, plum blossoms' viewing umemi, Princess Jōruri and her romance with Ushiwakamaru (young Minamoto Yoshitsune), puppet narrative-musical performance ningyō jōruri, images of flowers and birds kachōga, rooster on a drum image kanko-dori, “mad” poetry kyōka, method of layered visual allusions mitate-e, male actors impersonating female characters onnagata


Art and Design | Japanese Studies | Theory and Criticism

Striking Chords: Music in Ukiyo-e Prints (2021)



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