Ukiyo-e: a Search Engine for Japanese Woodblock Prints

Ukiyo-e is a dynamic research tool where researchers can search through over 213,000 Japanese woodblock prints from 1700s-present. There are two search options: by keyword or by image (upload or paste an image URL). John Resig, the site creator, has created this tool to address the need for “easily finding similar prints across multiple collections simultaneously.” This extends to unifying artist names, which often vary across collections or change, and translating the Kanji names. Resig lists all of the collections (museum, university, library, gallery, and private) that are searchable through the site.

A keyword search for “children” results in 1,183 unique images. An option called “Compare Prints” allows viewers to see different iterations of similar images, a huge help in seeing the changes in renderings over time. The site is clean and easy to navigate, providing as much information as possible about the prints as well as links to the collections in which they are housed.

The site is available at ukiyo-e.org.

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