IMAGES FROM THE FLOATING WORLD: The Japanese Print, by Richard Lane (Putnam, $60). "Ukiyo-e," -- the Japanese genre term for woodblock prints developed during the Tokugawa Period (1600-1868) -- means =pictures of the floating world." Ryol, the 17th-century poet, wrote of Ukiyo as "living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves in just floating, floating; caring not a whit for the pauperism staring us in the face, refusing to bedisheartened, like a gourd floating along wiht the river current." The prints by such masters as Utamaro, Hiroshige, Hokusai, Shunsho, Toyokuni and others -- of courtesans and Kabuki actors, landscapes along the Tokaido, fireworks by the River Sumida, the plum blossoms of early spring -- reflect this hedonism which became an integral part of the culture of that period. Richard Lane's informative text includes an illustrated dictionary which will help collectors and amateurs distinguish, for example, the works of Toyokuni I from Toyokuni II, III, and IV -- which is no small feat. Unlike other books on the subject, this one includes the shunga (Spring drawings"), a subgenre of the ukiyo-e , depicting explicitly erotic scenes.