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In the Edo period, which is approx. 400 years ago, Ieyasu Tokugawa moved the shogunate government to Edo (present-day Tokyo).

The basis of a long-term stable government, which continued for more than 260 years afterwards, was established around that time.

In the Edo period, ukiyoe pictures were made by wood-block printing and painting. The paintings were expensive since they were one-of-a-kind items, but the wood-block prints were mass-produced, and ordinary people could purchase them at a very low price.

The prints cost around 16 mon, which is said to be about 520 in today’s yen. It was equivalent to the price of a bowl of soba noodles, and it was very popular as a souvenir from Edo.

In more recent years, they were sometimes used as packing material when sending articles overseas. Their beauty was discovered by people in foreign countries, and they were traded at high prices.  It is said the painters van Gogh and Gauguin were influenced by ukiyoe.

Senju selected truly representative ukiyoe pictures from many candidates.

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