Still in Print

The Floating World of Ukiyo-e: Shadows, Dreams, and Substance

Sensuous courtesans, ancient fishermen, and fantastical demons fill the Japanese woodblock prints, books, and scrolls in The Floating World of Ukiyo-e: Shadows, Dreams, and Substance, celebrating the Library of Congress' holdings of Ukiyo-e works (Abrams; $50). With 160 color images and four scholarly essays, the volume is an overview of the genre's complex history, and makes the connections between the initial prints of the early 17th century and works by such Western artists as Mary Cassatt, who absorbed their influence and labeled it "Japonisme." History and daily life play critical roles in prints depicting the changing cityscape of Edo (later Tokyo) and in portraits of warriors and actors. Throughout, the brilliant colors and minutely rendered details convey the texture of a world long gone.

—Jackie Cooperman