(肉筆画) were a form of Japanese painting
in the ukiyo-e
art style. Though the woodblock prints
of this genre have become so famous in the West as to become almost synonymous with the term "ukiyo-e", in fact most ukiyo-e
artists were painters as well as printmakers, with much the same style and subjects. Some turned to painting at the end of a career in prints, while some, like Miyagawa Chōshun
and a number of the artists of the Kaigetsudō school
, never made prints and only worked in paintings.
Though advances in printing technology advanced over the course of the Edo period (1603-1868), allowing for the production of more and more elaborate and colorful prints, the medium of painting always allowed a greater degree of freedom to the artist, and involved a much larger product in any case; the paintings of many ukiyo-e artists survive today and are exquisite in their bright colors, attention to detail, and bold brush strokes.