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JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

sketches in the style of his first academy (Umpitsu so-gwa, 1749). Sukénobu, on the other hand, although a contributor to popular art education in his E-hon Yamato hiji which consists principally of illustrated legends, won his reputation by his drawings of women—attractive little personages with every charm that graceful and varied action, gently undulating contours, and clinging folds of cunningly-devised drapery, were able to confer, more natural in feature and proportions than the later sketches of Yeishi and Utamaro, but as devoid of individuality as the figures of a European fashion plate. He was nevertheless a true artist, and the woodcuts in his more noted albums are amongst the most pleasing pictures of his century. He also illustrated novels and a host of books of other and various kinds. The engravers associated with Moronobu and Sukénobu were Fujimura Zenyémon and Murakami Genyémon.

As a third, but later and less influential artist of the same class, may be named Tsukioka Tangé (1717–1786), who is reputed for his pictures commemorating the deeds of Japanese heroes of the past. He left also a book illustrative of the scenery of Eastern Japan.

Another characteristic of the new period must also be accredited to a pupil of the Kano school of painting, Oöka Shunboku (died about 1760, at the age of eighty-four), who edited the first three or four of an invaluable series of albums containing copies admirably drawn and engraved, after pictures by famous Japanese and Chinese masters. The earliest of these was the Gwashi kwai-yō published in 1707, which was followed by the E-hon té-kagami (1720), the Gwa-ko sen-ran (1740), and the Wa-Kan mei-gwa-yen (1749), all still in use amongst artisan designers; and the good work was continued by Sakurai Shiuzan in the Wa-Kan mei-hitsu gwa-yei (1750), the Gwa-hō (1764), the Wa-Kan mei-hitsu kingioku gwa-fu (1771), and the Gwa-soku (1777). Some examples out of this mine of wealth are shown in Figs. 12 to 19.

There were few volumes devoted to scenery in this period. The Togoku meisho-shi of Tsukioka Tangé is perhaps the most noteworthy, but there were also many panoramic views of long tracts of country, hand-coloured, and made up into Orihon, or folding books, a series which commenced at least as early as 1689, and was continued down to the middle of the last century or later.