azuma nishiki-e 東錦絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also written 吾妻錦絵, *nishiki-e 錦絵, azuma-e 東絵, *edo-e 江戸絵. Brocade pictures. Full color woodblock prints in the *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 style. The term nishiki-e is derived from the supposed resemblance of these prints to multicolored brocade fabrics. Azuma-e (Eastern pictures) and edo-e (Edo pictures), derive their names from the fact that full color prints were originally a specialty of the city of Edo, and thus a favorite souvenir for visitors from the provinces. The earliest known full color prints date to 1765. The term azuma nishiki-e (brocade pictures of the East), appears almost immediately on the wrapper for the series, Eight Views of the Household *Zashiki Hakkei 座敷八景, by Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信 (1725-70), published around 1766. Other contemporary sources also refer to these prints as azuma nishiki-e, but eventually the term was abbreviated to nishiki-e. With the spread of full color printing to other parts of Japan, especially to the kamigata 上方 area (present day Osaka-Kyoto), the terms azuma-e, azuma nishiki-e, and edo-e came to mean prints produced specifically in Edo as opposed to other cities.


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