If you love art, you’ll definitely want to check out Kobayashi’s prints!

Fans of ukiyo-e will probably already know the name Kobayashi Kiyochika — he’s considered one of the last great artist to work in the medium — but even if you’re not, we’re sure you’ll still love his amazing work.

The Naval Battle of Pungdo

Chōsen Hōtō kaisen no zu 朝鮮豊島海戦之図 (The Naval Battle of Pungdo (C Feng-tao), Korea)

Born in 1847, Kobayashi’s artwork often depicts the modernization of Japan while also showing the influence Western art had on Japanese artists. Kobayashi’s work is considered noteworthy for the expert use of light and shadow, as you can clearly see in the image below.

Picture of Fireworks at Ryogoku

Ryogoku hanabi no zu 両国花火の図 (Picture of Fireworks at Ryogoku)

Of course, it used to be that if you wanted to see great art you had to go to a museum or buy an expensive art book. These days, though, we have the Internet! While you may be tempted to spend all your time looking at photos of cats, you might also enjoy spending a few minutes admiring Kobayashi’s work. And if you like what you see here, be sure to head on over to the British Museum website or the Tokyo National Museum website to see more. But you’ll also want to clear your schedule — we wouldn’t be surprised if you spent all day staring at these gorgeous images!

Manufacturing Pots and Pans at Kawaguchi

Kawaguchi nabe kama seizo no zu 川口鍋釜製造図 (Manufacturing Pots and Pans at Kawaguchi)

The Great Fire on Ryogoku Bridge, as Sketched from Hamacho

Meiji juyon nen ichi gatsu nijuroku nichi shukka 明治十四年一月二十六日出火 (Outbreak of Fire on 26 January 1881)Hamacho yori utsushita Ryogoku taika 浜町より写両国大火 (The Great Fire on Ryogoku Bridge, as Sketched from Hamacho)

Koromo River below Tennoji Temple

Tennoji shimo Koromogawa 天王寺下衣川 (Koromo River below Tennoji Temple)

Picture of Shin Ohashi Bridge, Tokyo, in the Rain

Tokyo Shin Ohashi uchu zu 東京新大橋雨中図 (Picture of Shin Ohashi Bridge, Tokyo, in the Rain)

Night at Toshogu Shrine, Ueno

Ueno Toshogu no yoru 上野東照宮の夜 (Night at Toshogu Shrine, Ueno)

Dai-ichi Bank seen from the Kaiun Bridge at Shinbashi, Tokyo

Woodblock print. Rural landscape. Architecture. Dai-ichi Bank seen from the Kaiun Bridge at Shinbashi, Tokyo, and on an umbrella is written Kishida Ginko.

Evening View of Nihonbashi


Picture of Shin Ohashi Bridge, Tokyo, in the Rain


Hey, there’s even one with cats! Kobayashi knew what the Internet would like even before it was created. Truly a forward-thinker and artistic luminary!

Cats at a Canvas


Even if you’re not an art fan, we hope were able to appreciate Kobayashi’s work. For us, the balance between light and shadow is simply amazing!

And if dance is the art form you prefer, be sure to check out these breakdancers shaking it to “Senbonzakura!”

Sources: JapaaanTokyo National MuseumThe British Museum
Feature image: The British Museum,
Images: Tokyo National MuseumThe British Museum