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Artist summarizes everybody’s feelings about 2020 in ukiyo-e style illustrations

Zenjidō Yamada is using creativity and talent to illustrate some of these shared experiences, by creating often humorous art that brings a modern spin to the traditional Japanese art of ukiyo-e.

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Needless to say, 2020 is a year that many of us won’t forget for a while.

The pandemic reared its ugly head causing things like loss of jobs, financial instability, and in some dire cases, even the loss of a friend or loved one due to the virus. We’ve come into a new year, and although the effects of the pandemic are still being felt today, it can be good to reflect on what 2020 brought us. After all, the pandemic affected millions of lives across the globe, and despite everything negative that happened, we can look at the past year as a uniting point for our shared experiences.



Source: Zenjidō Yamada (IG: y_haiku) – image reproduced with permission


One Japanese artist that’s using their creativity and talent to illustrate some of these shared experiences is Zenjidō Yamada. They are known for creating light-hearted and often humorous art that brings a modern spin to the traditional Japanese art of ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints. Their work often depicts a man that appears to have come straight from Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868) in a variety of situations — situations that are altogether very human in nature.

Yamada has almost a million followers on Instagram (@y_haiku) and even when it comes to their social media posts, they keep the feudal Japan fantasy by using a classical Japanese style of writing for the captions.


Although Yamada’s original 2020-themed post presented a few topics that are Japan-centric, some illustrations highlight the thoughts and struggles that many of us have had no matter where we are in the world. Two good examples of this are illustrations that address the “new normal” that many of us had to adapt to last year.

The rest of the article can be viewed on our partner’s website, grape Japan at “Artist summarizes everybody’s feelings about 2020 in ukiyo-e style illustrations.”

grape Japan is a website dedicated to sharing interesting content related to Japan, ranging from the country’s most beautiful traditional aspects to its popular modern sub-cultures.