"Soga Yuro Referees his Brother Wrestling" by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Japanese wood block print in color on rice paper ca. 1846
Ukiyo-e "pictures of the floating world", is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th century, featuring motifs of landscapes, the theater and pleasure quarters.
Ukiyo, meaning "floating world", refers to the impetuous young culture that bloomed in the urban centers of Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Osaka, and Kyoto that were a world unto themselves. It is an ironic allusion to the homophone term "Sorrowful World", the earthly plane of death and rebirth from which Buddhists sought release.