Friday, February 12, 2010
Japanese woodblock printing has been and is always exaggerated in terms of facial expression, body stance, and color. Men are always featured with angry eyes, round chins, and fat limbs. Women have small eyes, are lean, and in kimono often. This imagery represent the outlook on appropriate or ideal men and women in Japanese society. Men are fierce and boiling with emotion. Women are calm and flowing. Following Japanese history through these prints, to an outsider its hard to distinguish between reality and myth. Japan seems like a fantasy in the prints but many are depictions and portraits of everyday life. The notion that this caricature stems from an audience that is non-Japanese. Or maybe just not being alive in feudal japan is enough to wonder about their native pictures.