Supported by 300 years of tradition, the technique of wood engraving for
producing UKIYO-E prints is well inherited to the present time.
The reproduction of UKIYO-E prints is done by practising the Japanese original
skill of craftmanship.
The materials and method used for the reproduced UKIYO-E prints are exactly the
same as in the past.
These UKIYO-E print reproductions are rated very highly among many people
around the world as Japanese traditional works of art.
Exact line reproduction is achieved by using a verified original print from one
of the world's major Ukiyo-e collections.
The blocks are carved by master engravers to duplicate exactly the same lines
as the original print.
This engraving requires delicate sensitivity and persistence.
Old cherry wood is used for the blocks.
Exact line reproduction is achieved by using a verified original print from one of the world's major Ukiyo-e collections. The blocks are carved by master engravers to duplicate exactly the same lines as the original print. This engraving requires delicate sensitivity and persistence. Old cherry wood is used for the blocks.
Printing is done by hand employing the same processes as were used on the
This stage is tedious and painstaking, for each color has to be printed from
its own block.
All prints are made on Japanese handmade paper from koio (paper mulberry),
employing natural-dye colors, the same as used on the originals.
Careful research and an adherence to the highest standards of Japanese
craftsmanship have enabled the Adachi Institute to reproduce the originals with
the greatest of accuracy.
Careful research and an adherence to the highest standards of Japanese craftsmanship have enabled the Adachi Institute to reproduce the originals with the greatest of accuracy.
Japanese woodblock printing originated in ancient China and was brought to Japan with the introduction of Buddhism. Japanese woodblock prints, or Ukiyoe color prints, are a type of Japanese painting. They are considered a traditional art form and are eagerly sought after by art connoisseurs.
This printing form, which represents a uniquely Japanese art, marked a new epoch in painting and in the art world in general.
The art of woodblock printing had its golden age in the 18th century. Towards the end of the 18th century two distinct groups had evolved: the Hokusai who excelled in the animated depiction of all subjects - both in nature and in human affairs: and the Hiroshige, who were unsurpassed in the depiction of Japan's rare beauty in the classical Japanese style. These artists competed with each other to gain popularity among the common people; and. In the process, they enlivened the Ukiyoe world with their own respective styles. Consequently, the woodblock prints became more and more refined. Woodblock printing has attracted such talented artists as Toyokuni, Utamaro, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Sharaku, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, and Sadanobu. Among the leading contemporary artists in this specialized field are Hiroshi Yoshida, Shinsui Itoh, Hasui Kawase, Goyo Hashiguchi. Koshiro Onchi, Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Eiichi Kotozuka, Benji Asada, Sadanobu Hasegawa, Kin-u Takeshita, and Sanzo Wada.
In the process of making the woodblock print, the designer traces the lines of the original picture onto several sheets of thin paper. He applies the colors one after another using a different sheet for each color. The carver then places the thin paper on blocks made from cherry wood and engraves the blocks with the appropriate chisels and gouges. One block is carved for each color. From the hands of the carver, the blocks are taken to the printer who arranges the blocks in consecutive order and prints them on Japanese rice paper (which is made from mulberry bark).
At present our company is striving to advance the art of woodblock printing. We represent such modern artists (the Showa period) as E. Kotozuka, T. Tokuriki, B. Asada, and S. Hasegawa. These artists specialize in scenery, figures, and historical pictures. In cooperation with the artists, we try our best to produce 20th century prints using inherited, but much improved techniques, of Ukiyoe. To achieve the maximum effect requires the harmonious blending of the skills of three persons - the designer, the carver, and the printer.
UCHIDA ART COMPANY. LTD. was established more than 60 years ago and has gained a reputation for superior technique. It is keenly watched by both art lovers and the Japanese government, which seeks to preserve the traditional techniques of Japanese printing. We sincerely hope that the refined art of woodblock printing will become ever more cherished and preserved by enthusiasts throughout the world.