JAPAN -- BACKGROUND
was originally a Buddhist
reference to the present mundane world as opposed to the future life.
During the late sixteenth century, when the ambitious son of a farmer became
Hideyoshi, ruler of
the entire country, the meaning of the word changed radically. The
world in which a man could gain wealth and power just by utilizing his
talents as opposed to who his forebearers were came to be considered a
heaven rather than the hell of previous ages. In this way
came to mean "paradise" or "floating world."
Surimono Woodblock Prints
(lit. "printed things") were
privately commissioned sumptuous limited edition prints, smaller in size
than standard woodblock prints. They date from the 1740s and the
art reached its height in the early nineteenth century.
A Guide to the Ukiyoe-Sites of the Internet
(not yet searched through for dwarf potted tree portrayals...)
Japanese Graphic Arts
(London: Octopus Books Unlimited; 1976)
Japan, The Official Guide
(Tokyo: Board of Tourist Industry,
Japanese Government Railways; 1933, 1941), pg. 167;
A Collection of Nagasaki Colour Prints and Paintings
(Rutland, VT and Tokyo: Charles
E. Tuttle Company, Inc.; 1969. Original limited edition in 2 volumes,
1939), pg. xxvii;
A Treasury of Japanese Wood Block Prints, Ukiyo-e
(New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.; Translation
©1969 by Tokyo International Publishers, Illustrations ©1963
Kawadeshobo, Tokyo. Translated by Don Kenny), pp. 29, 32;
Marks, Andreas Japanese woodblock prints -- Artists, Publishers and Masterworks 1680-1900 (Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing; 2010), pp. 10, 13, 14, 21, 180, 181, 208 make up the final three and a half paragraphs of this first section above.
Japanese Woodblock Prints, A Catalogue of the Mary A. Ainsworth Collection
(Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College; 1984), pg. 46;
Surimono, Privately Published Japanese Prints in the Spencer Museum of Art
(Tokyo/New York: Kodansha International Ltd.;
1984), pp. 14, 16-17, 19;
Mirviss, Joan B.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection of Surimono
(New York: Weatherhill, Inc. and Phoenix, AZ:
Phoenix Art Museum; 1995), pp. 12-17, 37; and the related "Surimono: Japanese
Prints From the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives," a display of sixty
at the Phoenix Art Museum, October 1990-January 1991.