Page:Japanese Wood Engravings.djvu/65

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51
JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

for so kindly, gentle, and pacific a people as the Japanese trading and artisan community. The illustrations were contributed principally by Hokusai, whose most dramatic efforts are to be found in these volumes, by Giokuzan, Toyohiro, Toyokuni, and later by Keisai Yeisen, Kunisada, Yanagawa Shigénobu, and Giokuransai Sadahidé. Each picture usually covers two opposed pages, the block being sawn through and printed in

Japanese Wood Engravings-1895-067.jpg

Fig. 24.—Reduced from a woodcut after Hokusai, in the É-hon Tsuzoku Sankoku Shi (1826).

two halves, so that a mental effort is required to establish continuity (see pp. 46, 47). In some illustrations, but rarely in novels, the subject may be even more subdivided, as in an album, entitled Shin Koshabunko, in the British Museum Collection, where the body and tail of a peacock spread in full luxuriance through five entire pages.

These pictures, however strange they may appear to us with their daring conventions, their mixed ideas of perspective, their disregard of