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Mitate-e

見立絵 (mitate-e)


Mitate-e ("look and compare pictures" or analogues) were among the most common and important genres in ukiyo-e printmaking. The earliest use of the term mitate may have been in 1638 in relation to haikai poetry technique. In critical discussions of waka poetry, mitate is generally used as a term denoting figurative language of many kinds, much of the time involving indirect metaphors or comparisons. The 'mitate' method used by ukiyo-e artists borrowed from these poetic techniques, resulting in pictorial designs that offered imaginative, simultaneous, and multiple layers of meaning that coexisted rather than blended. There was pleasure to be gained from the recognition of the complex linking of seemingly unrelated subjects. Allusions to classical poetry were common in mitate, but whether these references were meant to produce literal equivalence depends on the specific example. See John Fiorillo. "What are mitate-e?". Viewing Japanese Prints. Retrieved 2015-05-15.

Matted Mitate-e Woodblock Toyohara Kunichika's "Narihira's Morning" (c.1868)



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