Glossary of Terms

Click on the letter to go to the desired section.


Letter B

Bakufu: military government under a shogun, extended from 1200 to 1868.

Bamboo: symbol of virtue and fidelity.

Bamboo and Spanous: a common art theme, symbolic of gentleness and friendship.

Bando: the Tokaido provinces.

Baren: a circular pad that was wrapped in a sheath of bamboo fiber and which was used in the woodblock printing process.

Bat: (Komori) the traditional symbol of good fortune.

Beni-e (Red [beni] pictures): prints in which beni (red) was applied by hand with a brush to a black and white print.

Benigirai-e (red-hating picture): a print with no red (pink) pigments.

Benizuri-e (Pink printed pictures): prints using pale pastel shades; they are principally found in prints of 1790.

Benkie: the 13th century soldier-monk of Hieizan; later, trusted advisor to Yoshitsune.

Benten: goddess of learning and good fortune.

Benzaiten: female deity of speech and learning. Depicted as a beautiful woman, she bestows ability, wisdom, and good fortune.

Bijin (beautiful women): Bijinga were pictures of beautiful women.

Bijinga: pictures of beautiful women.

Bijutsu: art.

Bikuni: a Buddhist nun; also a disguise adopted by itinerant prostitutes.

Bimbo-gami: the god of poverty.

Bishamonten: one of the Seven Gods of Luck, also called Tamonten. Holds a pagoda in his left hand, a spear in his right; guards the north.

Biwa: a lute with four strings

Biwa-hoshi: blind minstrels who play the biwa.

Biwa-ko: (Lake Biwa) in mi province, near Kyoto, renowned for its beautiful scenery, the so-called "Eight Views".

Bizen-za: an Edo puppet theater.

Black Ships: (Kuro-fune) the Japanese expression for Perry's Fleet.

Bodhidharma (Japanese--- Daruma): Indian monk who came to China in 520 and founded the Ch'an (Zen) sect of Buddhism.

Bodhisattva (Japanese--- Bosatsu): Buddhist deity who has renounced Buddhahood in order to work for the salvation of all beings.

Bokashi: a technique employed by the printer to provide shading or graduation in the areas printed in color.

Bon: the Festival of the Dead, July 13th to 15th.

Bonsai: dwarfed, potted trees.

Bonshi: Buddhist title. When prefixed to a name, it indicates that the individual had been previously attached to a heretical sect before accepting Buddhism.

Bosatsu: see Bodhisattva.

Bozu: Buddhist monk, a bonze.

Brahma: Indian deity, the supreme god of the Brahmans; worshiped in Japan as Bonten, guardian of the Buddhist law and protector of the world.

Buke: the military class.

Bunraku: puppet theater.

Bushi: a warrior.

Bushido: the way of the Samurai.

Bybu: a folding screen.

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