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“Ukiyo-e Heroes” Turns Video Game Characters Into Japanese Woodblock Art

Illustrator Jed Henry loves the old Japanese art of ukiyo-e, a type of woodblock printing (The Great Wave off Kanagawa is a wonderful example of this technique.) Henry also has a fondness for video games, and as artists like to do, he decided to mash both passions together.

In Ukiyo-e Heroes, Henry has researched and drawn a selection of Nintendo video game characters in the Japanese ukiyo-e style. There are currently 12 designs that feature Mario, Link, Samus, Mega Man, Donkey Kong, Simon Belmont, and a wonderful panel of Street Fighter characters. Have a look at some of Henry’s artwork after the jump.

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Samurai Star Wars!

In his series “Samurai Wars” artist Steve Bialik imagines some of the classic Star Wars character as if they existed in 17th century Fuedal Japan. The character portraits are reportedly in the style of ukiyo-e, a genre of woodblock prints, of which the most famous that I know of is The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai (although he created his masterpiece in the mid 1800s).

Bialik imagines Han Solo as a deadly samurai and his acquaintance Chewie looks suspiciously like an ouni, which according to Japanese folklore is a an extremely hairy mountain hag with a mouth that goes from ear to ear. Leia takes the guise of a beautiful geisha and Obi Wan is a sage, lightsaber-wielding monk. Have a look at his Samurai Wars series after the cut.