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A kôsenga depicting Umewaka Shrine
  • Japanese: 光線画 (kousenga)

Kôsenga (lit. "light line pictures") was a style of woodblock prints pioneered by Kobayashi Kiyochika in the Meiji period. In contrast to traditional ukiyo-e, which made heavy use of black outlines for each area of color, kôsenga employed no outlines. One Kiyochika kôsenga work, depicting Umewaka Shrine, employs white lines (i.e. blank spaces) to depict rain.

Kôsenga often employed subdued color schemes. Like Kiyochika's other works, and those of many of his contemporaries, they also made extensive use of the effects of light and shadow.


  • Miriam Wattles, "Mastering Light and Darkness: The Art of Kobayashi Kiyochika," lecture, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara CA, 3 May 2015.