omacha-e - pictures of toys.
onnagata - a male actor who plays female roles in kabuki; a female-impersonator (also called oyama).
Order of Culture - One of Japan's most distinguished awards, based on the Government Ordinance on the Order of Culture issued in February 1937, and then presented annually by the Japanese Government to those who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of science, arts, literature, etc.
ōtsue - small woodblock prints and sketches of popular religious subjects. By the end of the Genroku Era (1688-1704), they had become so popular they were transformed into talismans and other forms of artwork. Otsue ceased being produced in the 1880s.
oyajigata - an actor who plays old men roles in kabuki.
rakugo - is classified as a kind of yose, a form of Japanese vaudeville, named for the type of theater in which it is traditionally performed. In rakugo, a single kimono-clad storyteller sits on a cushion, legs folded tidily underneath, in the middle of the stage. The monologue has a three-part structure consisting of the makura (preliminary comments), the honmon (main body), and the ochi (the windup, also known as the sage). These are narrated in order, with a focus on humor.
Saiko Nihon Bijutsuin (Reorganized Japan Fine Art Academy) - The 1914 reorganized Nihon-bijutsu-in (Japan Art Institute), established 1898 by Tenshin Okakura (1863-1913), former president of Tokyo School of Fine Arts. Its exhibition is known as Inten.
Sango-kai (Coral Society) - a small artists group centered on the activities of Nihonga painters. In Taisho 4 (1915) the group was formed by eight painters: Hirafuku Hyakusui (1877-1933) as the main member, joined by Ikeda Eiji (1889-1950), Ogawa Usen (1868-1938), Ogawa Senyou (1882-1971), Kawabata Ryushi (1885-1966), Tsuruta Goro (1890-1969), Natori Shunsen (1886-1960), and Yamamura Toyonari (Kouka) (1885-1942). This group was active until its 10th exhibition held in Taisho 13 (1924). Morita Tsunetomo (1881-1933), Kondō Koichirō (1884–1962), and Ishizuka Kan (active c. 1915) joined the initial members midway through the group's history, and at the end of the group's activities, Sakai Sanryo and Okamoto Ippei exhibited works in the group's exhibitions. While technically exhibiting Nihonga works, Ogawa Usen and Kawabata Ryushi had both been trained in Western-style painting, and Tsurata Goro was an active Western-style painter, while Okamota Ippei and Ikeda Eiji were both manga artists. Thus the group was not necessarily a unified front, but rather a place where they could share interests and studies on an equal footing as individual friends and colleagues. It seems to have been a place for extremely free exchange.
saku - made or done by (appearing with an artist's seal or signature.)
sanhime 三姫 - The three most difficult and praiseworthy Princess roles in the kabuki repertoire: Yaegaki, Yuki and Toki in the plays "Honchō Nijūshikō", "Kamakura Sandaiki" and "Kinkakuji".
sashi-e - literally, an "inserted picture." A new Meiji era idiom, sashi-e were dependent on and subordinate to narrative.
Seikinkai (Blue Collar Society) - association of Japanese-style painters founded by the artists Ito Shinsui (1898-1972) and Yamakawa Shūhō (1898-1944) in 1939
senjafuda 千社札 (lit. thousand shrine tags) - votive slips offered at temples bearing the name of the worshipper and often a design. Pasted on gateposts and other temple structures, they were once considered a nuisance, but their popularity lead to the formation of senjafuda clubs which exchanged their designs with other clubs. See https://glam.uoregon.edu/yokaisenjafuda/page/welcome for an extensive view of this genre with a focus on yōkai senjafuda.
seriography (silk screen) - a type of stencil printing, but instead of forcing inks through a stencil made with heavy paper, the inks are passed through a screen of silk, textile, or metal mesh stretched across a frame.
sewamono - domestic dramas dealing with the lives of commoners and based on contemporary life or events. More realistic in style, scenery and costumes than the historical plays (jidaimono.)
shamisen - long-necked three-stringed instrument played with a large plectrum.
shasei - drawing from nature.
shibai-e - picture of a play or drama
shibaraku - a short drama of roughly 50 minutes, inserted during interludes in a kabuki play or in between full plays to provide variety and maintain a certain level of energy and interest on the part of the audience.
Shigenkai - a society to exhibit Western-style painting founded in 1947 by Ishikawa Toraji and other Taiheiyo Gakai members who wanted greater freedom. Still active in 1989.
shin hanga 新版画 - literally, "new prints"; the resurgent Japanese woodblock print movement beginning in the Taisho period (1912-1926), which joined traditional Japanese woodblock subjects and printing techniques, together with Western drawing techniques, to revitalize the traditional woodblock print.
shina - Japanese linden. Used to face plywood that in turn is used as the woodblock for many modern Japanese woodblock prints.
shini-e ("death pictures") - pictorial obituaries announcing the demise of persons celebrated in popular culture. Memorial-pictures became popular in the second half of the Edo period(1603-1868) as reminiscence of deceased famous people (mostly famous actors and artists.) A portrait of their life was drawn; their stage and posthumous name, cause and date of death, their deathbed poem etc.
shinkabuki - New kabuki dramas written since Meiji by playwrights from outside the kabuki world.
shite - the main actor in a Noh play who sometimes wears a mask. (Also see nochi-shite.)
shōgun - supreme military rulers of Japan.
shōgun jōraku-e (shogun’s procession-pictures) - 1863-64 the series shōgun jōraku’e about the proceeding of the shogun from Edo to the emperor in Kyōto emerged. Each of the “53 stations of the Tōkaidō” from Edo to Kyōto and the receiving at the emperor’s castle were displayed. Because depicting the shogun's procession to the emperor was forbidden, the Tokugawa shogun was replaced by Minamoto Yoritomo (1147–1199), the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, in the pictures.
shohan - first edition
shomen zuri 正面摺 (front printing) - a printing process whereby areas of the print are rubbed with a hard polisher (such as a boar's tusk or agate) on the front surface, thus giving the print a burnished and shiny appearance. Also a technique for creating intricate patterns on the black areas of some prints by placing a carved block behind the print rubbing with a hard polisher.
shūmei - name-taking ceremony for an actor.
shunga - erotic images (literally "spring images", a typical euphemism for erotica);another of the classic original woodblock forms.
sosaku hanga 創作版画- literally, "creative prints"; a Japanese woodblock print movement of the 20th century which utilized Western and modern concepts of art, in which the artist was more involved in the production of the prints (often undertaking the entire process on their own), and determined the subject matter and presentation.
stencil print (kappazuri) - pigment is forced through a stencil to the surface of a sheet of paper. The technique has a long history of use in textile and paper decoration.
sumi - a black ink prepared by hardening carbon black in a glue matrix to form sticks. One of the most important painting materials in the East.
sumizuri-e - literally, "black-ink printed picture"; sumi is the name for black India ink. Hence sumizuri-e, a print done in black and white, although sometimes one finds shades of grey as well, as in Hokusai's famous and fabulous illustrated book, '100 Views of Fuji'. The first ukiyo-e prints were produced with this technique.
surimono - literally, "printed things"; privately issued and distributed prints, mostly produced in small numbers. Most had poetry (usually commissioned by private poetry clubs) or calendars on them, and were often used as invitations, notices, holiday and greeting cards, etc. They were usually very finely printed, with elaborate and unusual printing techniques such as use of powdered metals.
tachiyaku - actor specialized in male kabuki roles.
Taiheiyo Gakai (Pacific Western-style Art Society Institute) - a circa 1901 successor to the Meiji Fine Arts Society.
Taikokan - painting school located in Nagatachō, Kojimachi
tanka - literally "short poem". A waka poem in thirty-one syllables, arranged in five 5-7-5-7-7 syllable phrases. Developed in the late eighth century, it became an essential skill for an aristocrat. Over time it became the premier poetic form and the subject of competitions.
tate-e (also tat-eye and tateban) - vertical (i.e. portrait) orientation.
Tatsumi Gakai (Southeast Painting Society) - Japanese-style painting society of southeast Japan that started a hanga section in its 1916 annual exhibition.
Teiten 帝展 (Exhibition of the Imperial Art Academy) - In 1919, the Bunten was reorganized as the Teiten, under the new auspices of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.
Tenshin Dojo - a school of Western art that taught a subjective and impressionistic interpretation of visual data in contrast to the more objective standards of the painting derived from the Barbazon school that had been taught in Japan from early Meiji times.
Tōkaidō 東海道 - the coastal route stretching from Nihonbashi in Edo to Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto with 53 port-towns, or stations, in between. (also see Kisokaidō.)
Tokyo Kōtō Shihan Gakkō 東京高等師範学校 (Tokyo Higher Normal School) - Higher Normal Schools came into being as a result of the various promulgation orders of the late 1890s. One higher normal school and one women's higher normal school were to be established in Tokyo, and one or more normal schools for each prefecture.
torii 鳥居 - immense red gate; Shinto shrine archway
torinoko 鳥の子 - a smooth, semi-glossy paper (washi) made with mitsumata and the inner bark of ganpi, used for moku hanga.
Tosa ha 土佐派 - the Tosa school of painters were official artists to the imperial court from the fifteenth to the end of the nineteenth century. They painted in the yamato-e style, often taking their themes from classical literature, especially Genji monogatari ('The Tale of Genji'). The Tosa style is bright, with flat color in decorative compositions combined with delicate outline and careful attention to detail. Viewpoints are often sharply angled, looking into interior spaces with, by convention, the roof removed (fuki-nuki yatai).
tokiwazu 常磐津 - the samisen music that accompanied jōruri