Original Japanese Woodblock print. Utamaro (1750 - 1806).

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Original Japanese Woodblock print. Utamaro (1750 - 1806).

Size approximately 24 x 37 cm

Size with frame 33 x 43 cm

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 – 31 October 1806) was a Japanese artist. He is one of the most highly regarded designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, and is best known for his bijin ōkubi-e"large-headed pictures of beautiful women" of the 1790s. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.

Little is known of the language's prehistory, or when it first appeared in Japan. Chinese documents from the 3rd century AD recorded a few Japanese words, but substantial Old Japanese texts did not appear until the 8th century. From the Heian period (794–1185), there was a massive influx of Sino-Japanese vocabulary into the language, affecting the phonology of Early Middle Japanese. Changes in Late Middle Japanese (1185–1600) brought it closer to the modern language, and the first appearance of European loanwords. The standard dialect moved from the Kansai region in the south, up to the Edoregion (modern Tokyo) in the Early Modern Japanese period (early 17th century–mid 19th century). Following the end of Japan's self-imposed isolation in 1853, the flow of loanwords from European languages increased significantly, and words from English roots have proliferated.