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Ukiyo-e yippy yippy yo, yippy yay!

Ukiyo-e yippy yippy yo, yippy yay!

I saw this animated film on an art blog and knew I had to commandeer it for my own blogging purposes.

It’s an older work by Seattle animator Tony White (who posted it on youtube a few weeks ago): A life of Katsushika Hokusai, 19th century master of the woodblock print. Appropriately, somehow, he was the son of a mirror-maker.

I remember sitting in the Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas one morning years ago, sketching, copying a Hokusai drawing for an assignment in Life Drawing class. He seemed so perfect and so modern.

White suggests that this genius draftsman (who died in 1849) would have been an animator if he were alive today.  I look at his work and think “children’s illustration.”

Of course you can’t invoke Hokusai without also mentioning that other print master of Edo (Tokyo) whose name also started with an “H.”

June is so yikes-hot in  Austin, Texas. Maybe that’s why this next video grabbed my eye. Enjoy the wintery Agano Snow Scene by Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige. He was influenced by Hokusai, who was just a few years ahead of him on the ukiyo-e time line.

Born in 1797 to a samurai family, Hiroshige became a Buddhist monk in his later years.  He has an out-of-this-world-distinction as a graphic artist:  A  crater on the planet Mercury is named after him.

BTW, my ASK survey for my upcoming How to illustrate Children’s Books online course is winding down. However you can still get four months of the course absolutely for free by going to this link and answering the question you see on the screen.

The class begins in just a couple of weeks.  Your suggestion will be greatly appreciated. 

About The Author

Mark Mitchell

Award-winning children's book author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell teaches classes in watercolor and children's book illustration at The Contemporary Art School in Austin, Texas.


  1. manuke01

    Great stuff! Hokusai at least would have loved it I bet.

  2. lorjacks3212

    Oh wow! I love the Hokusai film by Tony White! As I was watching it, I was thinking, “This reminds me of the animated version of a Christmas Carol by Chuck Jones and Richard Williams.” Then I see Tony White worked for Williams, so no wonder. So incredibly cool!


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