Macabre Japanese ukiyo-e reveal gothic side to art of the floating world【Pics】

When you think of Japanese ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints, you probably think of Hokusai’s beautiful landscapes in his Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji, or the stylized prints of beautiful courtesans in traditional Japanese dress. But there are also many pieces of Japanese art and ukiyo-e from the Edo to the Meiji period (between 1603 and 1912) that represent a more mythical and macabre side of Japan.

The following is a collection of 20 pieces that all contain skulls or skeletons in some form, many of them by renowned and famous artists of the time.

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The Artist’s Daughter: the girl behind Hokusai’s prints

Hokusai Katsushika is known throughout the world for his masterpieces such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, seen on many a dorm wall, and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. He is the ‘father’ of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, and can be credited with popularizing the Japanese art form in the West during the 1800s.

But it’s possible that the prolific artist had help from one of his daughters, who was also a talented ukiyo-e artist in her own right. Read on for a look at some of her spectacular pieces.

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Talented artist imagines what Game of Thrones would look like in feudal Japan

Having learned the hard way that some TV series exist simply to keep viewers hanging for years (yes, Lost, I am looking at you), I have to admit that I gave the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones a wide berth for quite some time after it first aired. A few months and the contraction of a very nasty cold later, I found myself in bed with a heap of medication, a DVD box-set and little else to do. By the time I was back on my feet, I was a huge fan of the series (and may have run “Game of Thrones blonde girl” through Google a couple of times) and swallowed, along with the last of the medicine, my usual stubborn pride by telling friends that I was ready to join in their nerdy conversations and even read the books that they had all finished with years ago.

Little did I know, though, that the TV show could be made all the more awesome by recreating some of its more memorable scenes in the style of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, with all of my favourite characters looking like they reside in feudal Japan rather than Westeros.

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Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints

Ukiyo-e Heroes are a group of artists who work in the medium of tradional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e), a style most strongly associated with Japanese culture.  This group has turned their facebook page into a virtual gallery displaying their favorite muse: video games.

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