Japanese Ukiyo-e Wood-block Prints in Bristol

The Central Police Station, Bristol

The Central Police Station, Bristol

Banksy, Bristol

Hello, everyone! I hope you are well? The temperature has dropped a lot, especially in the morning in Wales.

Last month my husband Chris and I visited English city, Bristol. It takes about one hour by car from Cardiff. The city is famous for the undercover street artist, Banksy. We happened to come across one of his woks on the way to the destination.



The Uekiya Restaurant, Snow Viewing at Mokubo-ji Temple (1838-40), Utagawa Hiroshige [1797-1858]

The Uekiya Restaurant, Snow Viewing at Mokubo-ji Temple (1838-40), Utagawa Hiroshige [1797-1858]

Our purpose for the trip was to see an exhibition of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. It was quite a small collection, displayed by season but with lots of information about Japanese seasonal cultures and traditions.

I’d like to share a couple of prints I particularly liked. The scene of the above print just made me so thrilled – showing women in kimono, crossing the Sumida River for a snow viewing party. In those days, this was a common scenes in Edo, the former name of Tokyo – how fancy and romantic!! It is from a series about famous Edo restaurants and shows Uekiya. They started their business in the corner of Mokuboji Temple during the 3rd shogun of Tokugawa period (1623-1651) in Edo era (1603 - 1867). Very beautiful.


印象的だった作品を二点程。上は、歌川広重 “料理茶屋 植木屋の木母寺雪見” 。江戸名物茶屋シリーズの一枚。この情景、想像するだけでワクワクしました。隅田川を船で渡って向こう岸の料亭に雪見の集まりに向かう日本髪に着物姿の女性たち。こういう世界が実際に江戸時代にはあったのですね。なんて、ロマンチックで華やか :)


Young Woman Admiring a Snow Rabbit (1765–70), Suzuki Harunobu [1725–1770]

Young Woman Admiring a Snow Rabbit (1765–70), Suzuki Harunobu [1725–1770]

Another one features Setsu-gekka. It is the name given to a group of traditional patterns in Japan.

Setsu means snow (winter), ge from getsu means the moon (autumn) and ka means flower (spring) in Japanese.

The name originally came from a Chinese poem from the 8th century and the word appeared in the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, the Man'yōshū , literally meaning the collection of ten thousand leaves. Setsu-gekka has been cherished as a seasonal design especially during the Edo Period.

This picture features snow (embossed effect) and a rabbit, traditionally the symbol of moon in Japan as according to the mythology, a rabbit lived on the moon, and there is a cherry blossom pattern on the girl’s kimono.

The other day, I watched a documentary about Shirasu Masako, a Japanese writer who was famous as an antiques collector. In her study, she chose cherry blossom pattern for the fusuma sliding door paper decoration, Karakami. The Kyoto Karakami crafts man explained that the simple cherry pattern doesn’t just represent the flower of spring but it can also enhance the image of feeling of longing for the season. I love this relationship between designs and the Japanese people’s mind.

もう一枚は、鈴木春信 “雪うさぎを愛でる娘”。雪の降り積もった地面の描写を珍しいエンボス加工で表現していた版画。この作品は雪月花を表しているそう。雪景色、月のシンボルうさぎ。そして娘が着ている着物の柄が桜です。


Bristol Cathedral
Details of Elder Lady Chapel ceiling

Details of Elder Lady Chapel ceiling

I’ve visited Bristol for a few times but somehow each time Bristol Cathedral was always closed. It was a fourth-time lucky. The interior is simpler than York Cathedral I visited in July but that actually made me feel calmer.



By the way, Bristol is not just famous for Bankcy. It’s also known for the Europe’s biggest balloon festival. A street across from the café we popped in for breakfast was decorated with lots of colourful balloons.


balloon book

This is a souvenir I found at a second-hand book shop by chance on the way to the cathedral. There was a lovely scribbled note between the pages. The endpaper illustration was absolutely wonderful. Please check the colour version of the photos on my Instagram Stories Highlights.

The 24 Seasons is ‘Manageable Heat’ and the 72 Micro Seasons is ‘Rice Ripens’. It suddenly feels like a proper autumn. You even feel like putting the heat on in the morning.

Thank you very much for visiting my blog! Have a lovely weekend ♫

そして上の本は、大聖堂へ向かう途中にふらりと入った古本屋さんで偶然見つけた一冊。本の間にメモ書きが挟まれていました。”メリエルとロンに手紙(カード)。そして電話も!!” 、“リズにワインと花”、“ブリティッシュガスに電話” 。ワイングラス跡までオマケ付き。見返しのデザインも可愛いです。カラーバージョンは、是非インスタグラムのストーリー・ハイライトにてご覧下さいね。

二十四節気は処暑。72候 は禾乃登 ( こくものすなわちみのる ) です。ウェールズは9月に入って朝はすっかり気温が下がり、暖房が欲しいくらいに感じることも。