Imaging the Faces of Old Japan: The Massive Impact of Kikuchi Yōsai’s series of illustrated Biographies

Depiction of the mythological Prince Yamato Takeru, from Zenken Kojitsu by Kikuchi Yōsai (19th century)

Japanese history and culture is endlessly rich and full of vivid depictions of great historical figures and events. One can think of everything from anime, manga, emojis, and even photography (since it first arrived in Japan in the mid-19th century) to images of the Buddha — Japan is a land full of images. Before…

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