Glossary of Terms

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Letter K

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.

Koshimoto: lady-in-waiting.

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.

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