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Nise-e

Nise-e (似絵), or "likeness pictures," were a style of portraiture popular in the court circles of Japan's Kamakura period. Prior to the 12th century Japanese art was purely religious in character, but nise-e introduced the realistic depiction of lay figures such as courtiers and samurai. The popularity of nise-e even helped to end the taboo against artistic depictions of the emperor, with one of earliest nise-e to depict a living emperor being a portrait of Emperor Hanazono by Gōshin. The aim of a nise-e portrait was to capture a man's character with a few simple lines; and the work served as a veneration of his accomplishments.