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Hiroshige, Kacho-e of a Great-tit on a Plum Branch


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Kacho-e either Kacho-ga literally means "images of birds and flowers".

The kacho-e Its main theme is nature.birds and trees in bloom (kaboku), plants with flowers (kaki), foliage (soka), plants and insects (sōchū), seaweed and fish (sōgyo). Paintings that include creatures (sōjūga) such as dragons, tigers, monkeys or horses constitute another category.

The kacho-e is derived from a Chinese system for classifying pictorial motifs. Apart from kacho-eare also the jimbutsu-ga (portraits) and the sansui-ga (scenery). 

In China, there is evidence that they started practicing with this pictorial motif in the 10th century. In Japan there are records of this style for the first time in the Muromachi period (1336-1573)These are black ink designs made by Zen monks.

This type of painting persists until the Edo period (1603-1868) where the Kacho-e begins to be an important part of the traditional Ukiyo-e

Japanese style prints kacho-e are not only depictions of birds and flowers, but also of have a spiritual dimension, trying to transmit Shinto and Buddhist values through the contemplation of the eternal cycle of nature..

Bibliography for Kacho-e

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