Tag Archives: ukiyo-e

These ukiyo-e style renditions of Lupin the Third characters just might steal your heart!

We found something for the  fans of the series to look forward to, as animation studio TMS Entertainment has come out with a stunning line of Lupin the Third ukiyo-e woodblock print-style art!

This is actually the first time the characters from Lupin the Third have been turned into ukiyo-e art, and the prints will be available for advance order at the Shinjuku Isetan event. They will be selling five large prints each featuring one of the main Lupin characters (plus a set of the five prints together if you want all of them) as well as a special print showing the gang in beautiful Venice.

Here are the five individual prints portraying the characters in kimono to match the ukiyo-e style. The 34 centimeter x 20 centimeter (13.4 inch x 7.9 inch) prints each are priced at 64,800 yen (US$540).

▼ Lupin is looking suave in a blue kimono, the same color as the suit he wears in the recent anime series set in Italy.


▼ Jigen still sports his trademark hat even while wearing a black kimono, and it’s interesting to see that his gun doesn’t really look out of place with Japanese-style dress.


▼ We’re of course used to seeing Goemon in a kimono, but that doesn’t mean he looks any less cool, with his precious Zantetsuken sword at the ready.


▼ Here’s the lovely Fujiko, about three-quarters dressed in a gorgeous kimono decorated with fuji (wisteria) patterns, which we’re guessing is a deliberate selection in connection with her name. Not exactly the proper way to wear a kimono, but that brash personality is what we love about Fujiko-chan, isn’t it?


▼ And last, but not least, we have the persistent yet lovable Detective Zenigata, shown wielding a jutte, a traditional weapon that was used by the police in Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1868).


▼ The set with all five prints costs 540,000 yen ($4,500), but it will come autographed by Monkey Punch, the creator of the original Lupin manga series.


▼ And here’s the 34 centimeter x 52 centimeter (13.4 inch x 20.5 inch) special print, priced at 162,000 yen ($1,350), a dynamic piece of work that shows the characters in the canals of Venice.


So, what do you think of the prints? We certainly like the vivid colors and particularly love the Japanese style patterns decorated with plum flowers in the background of the individual prints of the five characters. True, the prints don’t exactly come cheap, but the art is made by Takezasado, a Kyoto-based woodblock printing company with a history of over 120 years, and the character’s names written in traditional Japanese-style text in the individual prints is the work of respected calligrapher Tansetsu Ogino, who is known for creating the Suntory Hibiki label. In addition, the art is printed on Japanese washi paper produced by living national treasure Ichibe Iwano, so the quality is definitely top-notch.

All prints will be made to order, and orders taken at the Lupinissimo in Isetan 2016 event (from February 3 to 8)were we will attend, are scheduled to be delivered in early April.

Source, images: @Press

Written by rocketnews 24 edited by JWS

Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

The connections between Japan and Star Wars are well documented and quite amazing. Even visually, just by looking at Darth Vader’s iconic helmet you can see that it was inspired by the headgear helmets worn by the samurai in the way it extends down the neck and features a faceplate. It’s also easy to find Star Wars merchandise with their own Japanese spin on them like lightsaber chop sticks, Star Wars inspired sake cups and Star Wars characters re-imagined in a Japanese style.

This latest project, funded through the Japanese crowd funding site Makuake, puts a traditional stamp on the Star Wars universe. While the characters have been drawn in an ukiyo-e style before, this might be the first time prints have been officially approved by Lucasfilm. Three gorgeous prints combine the epic Star Wars tale with the beauty of Japan by depicting scenes and characters from the movies.

star-wars-3star-wars-2star-wars-4The real gem of the bunch is the close-up okubi-e of Darth Vader. An okubi-e is a Japanese portrait print in the ukiyo-e style showing only the head or the head and upper torso.  Masumi Ishikawa, the designer of these ukiyo-e, wanted to arrange the Death Star like a moon in the background and have Darth Vader standing in the middle of flames of hatred. This print also includes the name “Darth Vader” represented by ateji, kanji that sounds like the name. Usually the characters are chosen for their sound only, but these kanji have a meaning as well. Ishikawa chose the ateji, 堕悪巣俾荼 which can be read as “daasu beida and also has the meaning of a “suffering servant that fell to the webs of evil”.

The other two prints feature a scene from the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala posed with R2-D2. Each piece of artwork is intricately crafted in wood and then expertly printed onto paper. You can see some of the work in a behind the scenes video from their Makuake page.

As traditional art and an official Star Wars product, the ukiyo-e prints are not cheap. A single print can be purchased by supporting their Makuake project for 54,000 yen (US$ 438.84), while a lucky few have already purchased the limited run of all three prints for 162,000 yen ($1,316.54).

star-wars-6 star-wars-8If you have the money to spare, this might be the most traditional Japanese way to display your geekiness to the world. The Makuake campaign just started, but each piece is only being printed 100 times and they are going fast. Head on over to their project page if you want to own one of these amazing pieces of art for yourself.

Update: Darth vader and the 3 piece set are sold out for now, while the other two are close to being sold out.

Let us know if you want to own a very unique piece of art, don’t think too long though.