The floating world--the closely related pleasure and entertainment districts of Tokyo in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries--embodied and idealized fashion, chic, and urbanity for its habituees, and inspired a profusion of woodblock prints depicting renowned courtesans and adored matinee idols. Considered ephemera in their time, these prints are treasured works of art today. In this volume of floating world prints (ukiyo-e), the authors present a selection of Kabuki actor portraits and theater scenes from The Art Institute of Chicago's world-renowned Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints. Together with interpretive essays that place the prints in their historical and cultural context, the authors offer a catalog of 880 prints, 136 of them in color, containing the most complete and up- to-date information available about each print. Donald Jenkins's essay explains printmaking and explores the lives and milieu of the Katsukawa school print makers. Timothy Clark, in his essay, vividly depicts the world of Kabuki theater and describes a particular production of a popular play, from the vantage points of various participants. Osamu Ueda has provided dates and identification for the subjects of many of the prints in the collection, as well as biographies of the leading Kabuki actors and brief lives of the printmakers of the Katsukawa school.Clark, Timothy A. R. is the author of 'The Actor's Image', published 1994 under ISBN 9780691036274 and ISBN 0691036276.