Art: The Floating World

Now that the dust of war had settled, Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum could drag out the priceless Japanese prints it acquired in 1936, and had never displayed. On exhibit last week, the Met's 339 Uki-yoye ("pictures of the floating world") were new proof that no one ever beat the Japanese at printmaking.

Before Perry opened Japan to the West, the average Jap was a connoisseur who bought the best colored block prints for a few pennies each, as Americans of the day bought Currier & Ives. Ukiyoye, like the Currier & Ives, were mostly genre...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!