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Force of Globalization: “Star Wars” as Japanese Woodblock Prints

Darth Vader Star Wars Ukiyo-e

Darth Vader Star Wars Ukiyo-e

Just when you thought Star Wars tribute art had permeated every possible medium — here comes the Star Wars ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock print series. The project is nearly 800% funded on a Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake.com.

The artists have released three images of completed, fully-licensed prints. The real things will set you back 54,000 yen ($434) apiece:

Star Wars Ukiyo-e
Star Wars Ukiyo-e
Star Wars Ukiyo-e
Star Wars Ukiyo-e
Star Wars Ukiyo-e
Star Wars Ukiyo-e

Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.
Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.
Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.
Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.
Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.
Star wars Ukiyo-e
Behind the scenes of the Star Wars Ukiyo-e print project.

Ukiyo-e is a style of printmaking popular in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. The two most famous ukiyo-e artists were the landscape artists Hokusai and Hiroshige, although the technique was also used for elegant portraiture and busy scenes of samurai valor.

Hokusai Great Wave
Hokusai, “The Great Wave of Kanagawa,” from the ukiyo-e series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” circa 1829-33.
Hiroshige Hara
Hiroshige, “Hara,” 13th station of the “Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō” series of ukiyo-e prints. Circa 1831-34.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Ogata Shuma Horoyuki,” from “Eight Hundred Heroes of Our Country s Suikoden,” ca. 1830.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi Hatsuhana
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Hatsuhana Doing Penance Under the Tonosawa Waterfall,” ca. 1841-42.

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