Adele SchlombsISBN: 978-3-8228-5164-7;
With the appearance of Hokusai's "36 Views of Mount Fuji" in 1830 and Hiroshige's "53 Stations of the Tokaido" between 1832 and 1834 the landscape conquered the Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock print more or less overnight. The term ukiyo-e means, literally, "pictures of the floating transitory world". It is derived originally from the Buddhist idea of the illusory and futile character of worldly existence. During the Edo period, the term however took on a hedonistic flavour, and was linked with the pleasurable amusements of the urban population in the teahouses and brothels, in the Kabuki theatre and the sumo wrestling arenas. In view of the shortness and inconstancy of life, the motto was: drift along, enjoy the moment, and address all the senses to transient pleasures. So we read, tellingly, in a novel by Asai Ryoi published in 1661 under the title Story of the Float-ingWorld (Ukiyo monogatari): "Live for the moment, look at the moon, the cherry-blossom and maple leaves, love wine, women...
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