Woodblock Prints

Ukiyo-e/Meiji Hanga/Shin Hanga/Sosaku Hanga/Contemporary

Ukiyo-e, otherwise known as woodblock prints in English, were produced from the 17th through 19th centuries, which corresponds with the Edo-era. These prints were used primarily as keepsakes, also called Nishiki-e. This printmaking was a collaboration of artists, carvers, and printers. Prints were a form of communication about current political or social situations in Edo (now Tokyo). Hanga artists expressed their individualism by performing all the steps of the process themselves. Other artists worked more closely with carvers and printers, aspiring to exhibit greater creativity and more artistic qualities.

The following can be divided by time and style: Ukiyo-e, Hanga = Meiji (1868-1912), Shin Hanga (following Edo-era style), Sosaku (the entire process done by one artist), and Contemporary. There are three types of woodblock prints represented here: (1) Shohan or Hatsuzuri (first edtion from original plates); (2) Atozuri (later prints from original plates); (3) Fukkoku (which means "reproduction" in English).

We at JapanARTSandCRAFTS.com are members of the former Ukiyo-e Society of America, now the Japanese Art Society of America.

Since their introduction to the west in the 19th century, Japanese prints have touched generations of artists, designers, and collectors. Many new collectors often assume that they are beginning their collections too late, that years ago they could have bought all the great prints at bargain prices. This is not true.

Now is the perfectly appropriate time to start collecting. While some prints are very expensive, such as "The Great Wave" by Hokusai," you could possibly afford one of this master's less popular prints. Even reproductions use the same processes as the Shohan (first edtion): same ink, same paper as closely as possible. Also, these artisans are aging, and their techniques could be lost forever, Please keep in mind that there are always areas in the print market just emerging in popularity, and a great joy in collecting is discovering these areas.

Harunobu/Utamaro/Sharaku/Hokusai/Hiroshige/Kunisada/Eisen/Kuniyoshi/Kawanabe Kyosai/Yoshitoshi/Toyokuni/Ito Jakuchu/Maruyama Okyo/Shibata Zeshin/Kawanabe Kyosai/ Kamisaka Sekka/Ohara Koson/Kawase Hasui/Kasamatsu Shiro/Okada Koichi/Yoshida Hiroshi/Hashiguchi Goyo/Paul Jacoulet/Yamamoto Kanae/Takehisa Yumeji/Kawakami Sumio/Azechi Umetaro/Munakata Shiko/Kawanishi Hide/Maekawa Senpan/Hiratsuka Unichi/Inagaki Tomoo/Kato Teruhide/Miyayama Kayoko/Omi Denkichi/Ito Takumi/Hatanaka Jun/Sato Kunio/Amakane Yoshikatsu/Ge-ge-ge-no Kitaro/Umezu Kazuo/Tsuruta Ichiro

Hanga Artists

Nakase Yoshiro/Hasegawa Kiyoshi/Ogisu Takanori/Saito Kiyoshi/Ichihara Arinori/Fujimaki Yoshio/Komai Tetsuro/Noda Tetsuya/Yamamoto Mutsumi/Nakajima Tsuzen/Koura Noboru/Funakoshi Katsura/Kitagawa Kenji/Nakaboku Nen/Onishi Nobuyuki