Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Showing the real and the grotesque ..., November 4, 2011
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This review is from: Hokusai Manga (English and Japanese Edition) (Paperback)
When I was traveling in Japan, I saw this almost 400 page book and would have purchased it except that there was no room left in the suitcases. As it turned out, it was a good decision since Amazon offers it for almost half the price I would have paid in Japan. It is interesting art with the stress being on people, though there are numerous illustrations of insects, fish, animals, and landscape. Most of the people shown are as being normal, though many are in contorted positions. Some art shows grotesque figures, as for example, legs as long as five foot stilts! The edition offered by Amazon also includes a translation into English to give more depth to the thousands of artistic renderings. The best reproductions in my estimation are those which are in black and white, with flesh tones. There are also a large number of pages that show the drawings in red ink with most being less clear than the black/white art work. I understand that the illustrations here are from the fifteen original books produced in Japan in the 19th century - not every illustration, but surely enough, thousands of them, to educate and intrigue most artists and collectors. To purchase copies of the 15 original books would cost a small fortune. I know - I saw used facsimile copies of some volumes for sale at a museum store in Osaka. The volume offered by Amazon is a well-made paperback - I don't believe a hard cover edition is available - but even as it is the book weighs over four pounds, and measures 8" x 12" x 2" thick! The non-glare paper seems to have been selected especially for these drawings. It is a great value for those interested in Hokusai, or Japanese woodblock art, or for the younger generation, Japanese Manga. GJV
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4.0 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
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