This is just a short glimpse into the work of art created by Yoshu Chikanobu or Chikanobu Toyohara.
He is an individual who was able to see the major changes that took place in Japan.
He lived in Japan between the years 1838 to 1912 when the history of Japan is highly dynamic.
This is what happened to the Edo’s ending and the Meiji period which started in 1868 and was very revolutionary.
Turning Changes In Japan Into Art
One foot of Chikanobu existed in the old world and when the time comes, the other would be in the modern period.
In 1868, the Meiji Restoration was revolutionary. It was just like other nations that were overcome by other forces where you get negatives and positives.
The positive face applies to larger sincerity, as well as stratification that is challenged and treated as other factors’ host.
The disadvantage is that Japan subscribed to the imperial European idea and had itself the involvement in wars.
But for Chikanobu, together with other artists doing Ukiyo-e, they have seen it as a moment and the opportunity to turn all of these changes into art.
And as expected, modernity would question ukiyo-e together with the increasing influence of different themes in Western Art, in time.
Meiji Artworks Now Studied
Chikanobu did not only witness the period of the new revolutionary. He did not only see how the elites look to the Europeans. Nostalgia returned, too, by the time when the ‘80s was ending and the ‘90s was approaching.
For the people, obviously, they belonged outside any of the themes. The only vital things for them were adapting and surviving.
The artists for ukiyo-e during the Meiji period were often overlooked. However, times are beginning to change and Ogata Gekko, Chikanobu and other artists are starting to get their value in their own terms.
Now, the artworks of the artists during the Meiji era are getting studied more. The studies, too, are done not only by looking at their artistic merits. It was also for the study of the culture of the Japanese.
After all, the Meiji artists got to witness Japan changing rapidly and the visual images gave a glimpse into that world that is changing.
The well-known print series of Chikanobu called Court Ladies of the Chiyoda Palace or Chiyoda no Ooku and True Beauties or Shin Bijin give emphasis to stunning colors. They also show the period’s complexity.