Art: Japanese Print Revival

Time was when Japan's cheap prints of almond-eyed prostitutes, grimacing kabuki actors and brawling porters were as popular as penny dreadfuls, and treated with no more regard. Few Japanese mourned their passing when they fell early victims in Japan's Westernization drive, and it was left to European artists—Renoir, Monet, et al.—to recognize them as minor masterpieces of art. But today, spurred on by a growing group of artists who have revived the neglected art of printmaking, hanga (block-print picture) art is beginning to bloom again. Most recent international recognition: a first prize at...

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