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Events - 04.19.2021

Webinar | Scenic Views and Supernatural Beings:
New Themes in 19th-century Ukiyo-e Prints


04.19.2021 (Mon.)


JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel

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Why were there so many views of nature and images of supernatural beings in Japanese prints of the 19th century? What made these themes so popular among the general populace at this moment in Japanese history, and what can they tell us today about Japanese culture and beliefs?

Using the woodblock prints in the NATURE/SUPERNATURE exhibition as a starting point, Professor Ryo Akama from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and Hollis Goodall from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art explore these questions in a fascinating conversation about the two themes in ukiyo-e prints and in Japanese culture as a whole. Ms. Goodall examines the reasons for the emergence of landscape prints in early 19th century, while Professor Akama explains the growth in prints featuring demons, ghosts, monsters and other supernatural creatures around the same time. The presentations is followed by a discussion and Q&A.

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.

Recording Available

The recording can be viewed within this event page or on the official JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel.

Speaker Profile

Ryo Akama
Professor Ryo Akama is Deputy-director, Art Research Center and Professor, College of Letters at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. Professor Akama completed a doctoral program at Waseda University in Tokyo in 1991. He worked for the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum in Waseda University and started the kabuki print database at the Theater Museum.

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With his research interests in kabuki theater and ukiyo-e woodblock prints), he has been leading the Art Research Center’s project to digitize Japanese cultural materials in the collections of museums and libraries overseas. Constructed and managed by him, the Ukiyo-e Portal Database holds one of the largest number of ukiyo-e in the world.


His recent publications include: Edo no engekisho (Books on Performing Arts in the Edo Period) in 2003, and Bunka johogaku jiten(Cultural Information Encyclopedia) in 2019.

Hollis Goodall
Hollis Goodall is the Curator of Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), where she has been engaged since 1981, with a two-year hiatus as Research Fellow at the University of Kyoto in Japan from 1986 to 1988. Ms. Goodall received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas with Honors in 1977 and a Master’s Degree in East Asian Art from the University of Kansas.

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At LACMA, Ms. Goodall oversees installations in the Pavilion for Japanese Art, plans exhibitions for the Japanese department and collaborates with other departments on educational programs, web programming, as well as collection management growth and research. Since 1988, Ms. Goodall has overseen more than 275 installations from the permanent collection and special exhibitions.


In mid-2003 she completed work on the book, The Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection of Netsuke: A Legacy at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her other publications include the 2015 catalogue entitled, Living for the Moment: Japanese Prints from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection and was co-author of Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota (2008).

Related Exhibition

The Japanese have long revered their natural landscape, celebrating its bounty and the beauty of the changing seasons in art, literature, travel and annual festivities. The power of nature has also been a central focus in Japanese culture, rooted in the belief that supernatural forces and beings are at work in all aspects of the natural realm. This exhibition of over sixty Japanese prints from the Scripps College collection in Claremont, CA features works by some of Japan’s finest artists including Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Utagawa Kunisada and more.


02.15.2021 - 05.31.2021





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