Ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world"), is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Aimed at the prosperous merchant class in the urbanizing Edo period (1603-1867), depictions of beautiful women; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. See "Ukiyo-e". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-11-05. Originally associated with a Buddhist world view and alluding to the ephemerality of man's existence, the phrase "floating world" subsequently came to suggest a hedonistic preoccupation with the present moment, with the latest fashions, pursuits, and life styles of urban culture, and implied a certain chicness. See Tadashi Kobayashi. "Ukiyo-e: Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints". Kodansha International Ltd., Tokyo (1997). p 65.