Chūban: small print format, half an ōban, about 25 x 18 cm.
Daimyo: feudal lord.
Ehon: literally ‘picture book’; a book of illustrations accompanied by less important text. Often used in titles.
Fūkei-ga: images of landscapes.
Kabuki: Japanese theatre which uses elements of dance and music as well as acting. Popularly featured in
Kibyōshi: yellow book; popular novels printed in black and taking their name from the colour of the cover,
Koban: small print format, about 23 x 17 cm.
Manga: refers to the Hokusai Manga, meaning a collection of sketches.
Nagaban: large print format, ranging from 47 x 17 cm to 52 x 25 cm.
Nishiki-e: literally ‘brocade picture’; polychrome woodblock print, and the final stage in the technical development of print-making, originating from 1765.
Ōban: the most common print format, about 38 x 25 cm.
Ō-ōban: literally ‘large ōban’; a rare size somewhat larger than standard ōban, about 58 x 32 cm.
Shikishiban: square format, often used for surimono, about 26 x 23 cm.
Shogun: literally ‘military commander’; Japanese military dictators, governing office of the country
Shunga: literally ‘spring images’ (a typical euphemism for erotica); erotic images.
Sumizuri-e: literally ‘ink-printed picture’; monochrome woodblock print, using a special glossy ink (sumi).
Surimono: literally ‘printed things’; a luxurious, made-to-order print usually commissioned by private poetry clubs. Often used as invitations, notices, and holiday and greeting cards.
Uki-e: literally ‘floating pictures’; perspective prints done with the newly-introduced Western perspective technique, as opposed to the classical Chinese method of portraying depth and distance.
Ukiyo-e: literally ‘floating world picture’; a genre of woodblock prints and paintings meant to depict the hedonistic lifestyle of the rising merchant class of the Edo period, 17th-19th centuries. Typically featuring actors, courtesans, geishas, and sumo wrestlers, as well as landscapes, historical and mythological scenes, and erotica.
Yakusha-e: ‘actor prints’; portraits of kabuki actors.
Yoko-e: horizontal (landscape) orientation.
Yomihon: literally ‘reading books’; a book containing few illustrations, meant to provide moral instruction or advice.
Yoshiwara: literally ‘pleasure district’; the area in Edo frequented by men seeking night-time entertainment.