Kabuki: popular form of theatre that developed in the urban culture of Edo in the 17th century, and which was an important subject in Japanese woodblock prints.
Kaburo (kamuro): a girl attendant to a courtesan.
Kach˘-e (Flower and bird painting): a term used to designate a genre in prints and painting with bird-and-flower themes.
Kagi (kento): in woodblock printing, the right-angle guide mark of kento registration.
Kago: a palanquin.
Kakemono: vertical scroll painting, made to hang on a wall.
Kakemono-e (Hanging scroll picture): a vertical ˘ban diptych: 30 x 9 inches (76.5 x 23 cm).
Kamban: theatrical signboards or posters.
Kameido: an eastern suburb of Edo; its Tenjin Shrine was celebrated for its plum blossoms and wisteria.
Kamigata-e: the name of the school of printmakers and book illustrators who worked in Ky˘to and ˘saka, generally in the ukiyo-e manner, in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, some of the artists were members of the Kan˘ and nanga schools.
Kannon: Japanese name for Kuan Yin.
Kappa: a winter raincoat.
Kappa-suri: stencil painting.
Keyblock: block used to print the outlines of a print. It is cut from the finished drawing (hanshita-e) of the copyist and is the first block to be printed.
Kiby˘shi: yellow-cover books. Generally cheap popular novels, so called because they were always bound in yellow covers.
Kichij˘ten: goddess of fortune, depicted as a beautiful woman in ceremonial dress.
Kintaro: child of the forest, picked up by the mountain hag Yama-uba, who adopted and named him Kaido-maru; frequent subject in ukiyo-e.
Kira-zuri: mica-ground impression, usually printed with mother-of-pearl dust.
Kirara-e: prints with mica background.
Kirl: the pawlonia tree.
Kiwame: censorship seal used in prints from about 1790 to 1842.
Kizuri-e: prints with yellow background.
Koban: a format used for smaller print sizes it was frequently half the aiban or chűban sizes.
Koma-e: pictorial cartouche within a print.
Koro: incense burner.
Koto: a kind of zither with a long, narrow sounding board and strings of twisted silk.
Kozo: plant fibre, used in making paper for prints.
Kuan Yin: the most popular Bodhisattva, generally represented as the god of mercy; in China and Japan, usually considered a female deity.
Kubari-bon: privately printed books or albums.
Kuchi-e: inset illustrations to novels.
Kuro-hon: books in black covers; cheap, popular novels with illustrations on every page.
Kusa-zuri-e: prints in green and yellow.
Kyodai: a mirror stand.
Ky˘ga: "crazy" drawing; comic sketches.
Kyogo-zuri: proof impressions.
Kyoto: city in Yamashiro Province, founded in A.D. 794. Until 1868 the residence of the Imperial Court and hence the capital city of Japan. back to top