Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan

ehon

“Until the late nineteenth century, artists and craftsmen made all ehon by hand, so they have much in common with what we in the West now call artists’ books, or livres d’artistes, although they addressed a wider audience.”

“Each picture [in Shidare yanagi] is framed in an indented border that had been commonly used since the fifteenth century for votive paintings that were presented to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The effect on the printed page is like that of a window or a magic mirror that provides a link between the viewer’s normal everyday life and a coexisting, hidden world.”

“Miaogushe (or hakoya in Japanese) is a mythical mountain in China whose inhabitants neither age nor die and are thus able to pursue their interests throughout eternity. ‘If indeed there are divine beings on Mt. Miaogushe,’ the haikai poet Mastuo Basho (1644-1694) wrote, ‘wouldn’t their pictures and poems be superb?'”

“Developed in the Osaka area in the middle of the eighteenth century, toba-e featured abbreviated or even blank faces, exaggerated gestures, and elongated limbs.”

some quotes I found informative from Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan
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