Woodblock carvings depicting scenes, usually from famous Japanese legends or other stories. Often considered a fore-runner to manga.
The roots of Ukiyo-e are in the end of the 16th century, but this gere became popular after the 1850's, when Japan started trade with foreign countries. Ukiyo-e prints were collected by the Impressionist painters, who found in them inspiration for their own art.
The procedure for making an Ukiyo-e is the following:
the artist draws a master drawing in ink.
the picture is pasted on a wooden block, in which the 'negative' is carved. Several blocks are used in an Ukiyo-e, each with a different shape and color.
the blocks are inked to make prints part by part. The finished print has one or more imprints of all the blocks (they need to have a required color intensity).
One of the most famous Ukiyo-e artists is Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849); he crated the Ukiyo-e print by excellence: The Great Wave off Kanagawa. He is also said to be the creator of the term manga.