Glossary of Terms
Click on the letter to go to the desired section.
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.
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 Ômi 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.
Byôbu: a folding screen.back to top