Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024

Course Description

This course explores the spectacle and complexity of Japanese prints through first, a study of ukiyo-e or woodblock prints of the floating world (17th -19th c.) and then, sōsaku hanga or creative prints produced since the early 20 th century. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we will consider the growing wealth of the commoner class as well as the concomitant blurring of social boundaries, government censorship, the powerful entertainment industries of theatre & sex, the visualization of literature, parody/word play, concepts of beauty, the “burden” of history, the supernatural, abstraction, and Japanese national identity.

Student Outcomes

Students will be able to

  • demonstrate proficiency in looking at, analyzing, and critiquing the form and content of Japanese prints (17 th c. – present)
  • articulately describe their examination of Japanese prints orally and especially in written form
  • reflect upon the international impact of Japanese prints