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.


  1. This is definately an interesting image. I have to agree that the facial features for men are often angry and full of emotion. Im sure that societal norms are clearly defined- the skinny females- stubby limbs.

    I would like to know what daily activity this portrays, maybe the coming of death?

  2. I agree that there is an exaggeration of facial expression in the faces of the men and women. I also want to know like Luz what this image is trying to convey, what is the meaning behind it? I like that you were able to find an image that was not from the west. I don't know if the faces are angry it could just represent how tough men are in this culture? I could be wrong.