Ukiyo-e Prints and Female Representation with JUURI

Lesson Activities & Lesson Plans

To begin the Lesson Activity please scroll down. If you are a teacher looking for the associated Lesson Plan, please click below.

Worksheet

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Have you seen any of the murals in Lynn before?
Does studying the murals make you want to go and see them in person?
Do you think having murals in the city makes it special?
Did the mural(s), the symbolism, or the artist’s story make you think about your life and experiences?
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Ukiyo-e Prints and Female Representation with JUURI

About this lesson

In this lesson, students will hear a brief history of Japan’s Edo period, learn about ukiyo-e prints, and examine bijinga prints. Afterwards, students will be introduced to the artist JUURI and how her approach to the bijinga style in her murals breaks from tradition–empowering women rather than subjecting them to the viewer’s gaze. Students will then reflect on a powerful female role model in their lives, creating either a work of art or writing an essay to honor them. 

For a more in depth background information on the lesson topics, questions and pointers to help guide class discussions, links to videos to show in class, and lesson worksheets, among other things, download the unit guide below. You can also download an accompany PowerPoint for this lesson below.

Objectives

Students will be able to…

1. Discuss the history of ukiyo-e and bijinga prints in the context of Japan’s Edo Period

2. Identify traditional characteristics of bijinga prints and compare them to contemporary iterations

3. Understand the process of and create a relief print

Standards

Visual Arts

Creating

  • Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. (5-6.V.Cr.01)
  • Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. (5-6.V.Cr.02)
  • Refine and complete artistic work. (5-6.V.Cr.03.a-b)

Presenting

  • Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation. (5-6.V.P.04)
  • Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.(5-6.V.P.05)
  • Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work. (5-6.V.P.06)

Responding

  • Perceive and analyze artistic work. (5-6.V.R.07)
  • Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.(5-6.V.R.08)
  • Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work. Evaluate a piece of artwork based on a predetermined list of criteria. (5-6.V.R.09)

Connecting

  • Relate artistic ideas and works to societal, cultural and historical contexts to deepen understanding. (5-6.M.Co.11)
  • Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. Describe and demonstrate personal artistic style and preferences. (5-6.V.Co.10)

 

English Language Arts

Text Types and Purposes

  • Write informative/explanatory texts (e.g., essays, oral reports, biographical feature articles) to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (W.6.2)

Production and Distribution of Writing

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.6.4)

Comprehension and Collaboration

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (SL.6.1)
  • Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study. (SL.6.2)

Knowledge of Language

  • Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. (L.6.3)

Extension activities for ELA standards are included below and in the unit guide.

Vocabulary

Print

Ukiyo-e

bijinga

Materials

Styrofoam printing plates

Block printing ink

Brayer/roller

Lesson Procedures

To start this lesson, ask students to spend the first few minutes of class writing down what things/ideas/words come to mind when they think of Japan. Once time is up, have students say aloud the things they wrote on their list. 

 Though there is usually a wide range of responses, most students will include such things as kimonos, geishas, samurai, and sumo wrestling. If this happens with the class, inform students that the above-mentioned items, and most things Western culture stereotypically associate with Japanese culture, all originate from a particular point in Japan’s history called the Edo Period. Even anime finds its origins from the art of this time period! (Read articles in the reference section of the unit guide)

In this lesson, students will hear a brief history of Japan’s Edo period, learn about ukiyo-e prints, and examine bijinga prints. Afterwards, students will be introduced to the artist JUURI and how her approach to the bijinga style in her murals breaks from tradition–empowering women rather than subjecting them to the viewer’s gaze. Students will then reflect on a powerful female role model in their lives, creating either a work of art or writing an essay to honor them. 

For a more in depth background information on the lesson topics, questions and pointers to help guide class discussions, links to videos and PowerPoints to show in class, and lesson worksheets, among other things, read the unit guide

1. Introduce students to the Edo Period (1603-1868) by talking about the Tokugawa Shogunate and discussing the two big changes it made to Japan: closing off its borders to foreign contact, and created a rigorous class system.

2. Discuss the context of, and show students examples of, bijinga prints, explaining that these are examples of a larger style of printing specific to Japan called ukiyo-e. 

3. Examine and analyze the bijinga print examples as a class.

4. Introduce students to the artist JUURI by showing them her mural “Life Triumphs Over Death” and analyzing it as a class.

5. Show students JUURI’s interview video.

6. Have students fill out the Lesson Form above where they will compare JUURI’s mural with a bijinga print.

7.  Introduce students to the art activity. For this activity, students will identify a strong female role model in their life and create a print dedicated to her. For more instruction on this activity, including a description and criteria, refer to the unit guide

Extension Activities

Extension for English Language Arts

(W.6.2) (W.6.4)

For this activity, students will write an essay about a powerful female role model in their lives. Their essay should discuss why they chose their specific role model and include information on the challenges they have overcome. To do this, students must interview their chosen role model using the interview questionnaire form. You can find the questionnaire in the unit guide.

Assessment

If you follow the unit guide, assessment is conducted regularly throughout the lesson in the form of group discussions and activities.

For alternatives, go to the resources section of the unit guide. This will take you to a document with a comprehensive list of assessment options. Though they are geared more towards Visual Arts, they can be altered or used for other curriculums, such as ELA and Science/Technology.

Exit slips are also a great strategy for assessment at the end of a lesson. For these slips, have students respond to the following questions:

Write one thing you learned today.
Write one question you have about today’s lesson.
Did you enjoy the lesson activities?