The Original Two-Face!

We're not talking Harvey Dent here but rather a few examples of...

...上下絵 (Joge-e) or two-way pictures which are a type of woodblock print that can be viewed either rightside-up or upside-down. Large numbers of these playful prints were produced for mass consumption in the 19th century, and they commonly featured bizarre faces of deities, monsters or historical figures. Only a few examples of original joge-e survive today. So courtesy of Pink Tentacle, here are a few:

Created by Yoshitora, 1862. Left column (top to bottom): 1. Tadafumi (Gedo, an evil person), 2. Hunter (Frog), 3. Small tengu (Big tengu), 4. Bad guy (Bad guy). Center: 5. Two-horned demon (One-horned demon), 6. Kasane, possessed female character in famous Kabuki play (Ugly man), 7. Daruma (Daruma). Right: 8. Foreigner (Ainu), 9. Nio guardian (A-un guardian).

(Be sure to click on the pics to see them up close and personal.)

If you are really interested in this, you could always buy your own via Amazon.

What all this brings to mind is Mad Magazines' Al Jaffee who created the fold-in art covers that made wry political statements that even I could understand. Click on Al Jaffee to behold some of them for yourself. Good stuff.

I came across this picture today on Yahoo Japan and it features a politician who flip-flops occasionally, so I think it's worthy of mention here. (Of course, he's not as two-faced as his opponent, but I suppose he's the lesser of two evils.)

Not the most Halloweenish post I know, but some of the joge-e are kind of creepy!

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