moji-e 文字絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A picture with the Japanese syllabary cleverly used as part of the motif. Another type of moji-e was called ashide-e 葦手絵, where entwined grass, flowers or water motifs took the form of Japanese syllables. These were popular during the Heian period. In the Edo period, it became popular to cleverly arrange letters in the folds and outlines of the garments worn by samurai 侍 or beautiful women in the prints. This device can be seen in *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 by Torii Kiyomasu 鳥居清倍 (fl.c. 1696-1716), paintings by Okumura Masanobu 奥村政信 (1686-1764) and picture calendars e-goyomi 絵暦 by Kiyomasu 2 二代清倍 (1706-63). Single-sheet multi-color moji-e also survive by Isoda Koryuusai 磯田湖龍斎 (fl.mid-1760s-80s), Katsukawa Shunshou 勝川春章 (1726-92) and Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849).

*ashide 葦手

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