Utamaro was a highly-regarded master of ukiyo-e woodblock printing which flourished in Japan during the late 1700’s. His prints reached Europe in the mid 1800’s, where they became very popular. When a later western artist is said to have been influenced by Japanese woodcuts, it is likely the prints of Utamaro which are meant. Hardly a fairy tale artist, though, Utamaro’s scenes were often from the pleasure quarters.
Some of our alphabetical illustrators who were said to have been influenced by “Japanese woodcuts” are Aubrey Beardsley, Warwick Goble, Kay Nielsen, Arthur Rackham, and (coming) Kate Greenaway.
L-R: Beauties after the Bath, Drums and Shamisen, Reading Beauty