Ukiyo-e (浮世絵), “pictures of the floating world”, is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints. They were produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, that showed landscapes, tales from history, the theatre, and brothels. It is the main artistic genre of woodblock printing in Japan.
Ukiyo-e were cheap because they could be mass-produced. They were meant for mainly townsmen, who were generally not rich enough to pay an original painting. The original subject of ukiyo-e was city life, in particular activities and scenes from the entertainment district. Beautiful courtesans, big Sumo wrestlers and popular actors would be portrayed while doing interesting activities. Later on landscapes also became popular. To this day, Ukiyo-e is still very popular across the world. (source: Wiki)
image source: JNTO