Click on an image to enlarge

Dream Spectres 2

Kabuki Nightmares: Ukiyo-E Ghosts, Magic & Mayhem

Ukiyo-E Master Series, Volume Fifteen

Edited by Jack Hunter

Dream Spectres 2 is devoted to the art of kabuki-e and yakusha-e, and collects some of the most striking and innovative prints by these and many other artists, focusing principally on three of the Japanese theatre’s most spectacular and sensational themes: ghosts, magic, and mayhem. Dream Spectres 2 is presented in large-format and full-colour throughout and contains over 200 stunning images which vividly bring back to life the violent clashes, murders, monsters and nightmares of Japan’s classical kabuki theatre at its most bizarre and exhilarating extremes.

Ukiyo-e, the art of woodblock design and printing, enjoyed a symbiosis with the kabuki theater almost from its inception in the late 17th century, with a significant number of images devoted to the popular theater. These comprise kabuki-e dynamic frames, diptychs, and triptychs recreating specific scenes from plays and yakusha-e portraits of famous actors in various roles both real and imaginary.

Amongst those producing theatrical prints were some of the greatest ukiyo-e artists of the century, including Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, and finally Kunichika, who introduced dramatic new framing to the format and persisted until the very last days of the century, when prints were finally usurped by the new medium of photography.

Softcover 176 pages. Measures 8 1/2" X 11"

$34.99 USD