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Published in conjunction with the exhibition Fragile Beauty: Historic Japanese Graphic Art, this catalogue introduces the visual arts of Edo-period Japan (1600–1868). Popularly known as ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world), colour woodblock prints emerged as one of the pre-eminent expressions of culture and identity for the Japanese middle class. Three beautifully illustrated essays establish the historic context for this remarkable development in Japanese visual art, explore a number of key themes surveyed in the related exhibition and consider the influence of Japonism on Western art and fashion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.