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Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing

Ukiyo-e is a genre of prints and paintings that developed in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). It is particularly renowned for its woodblock prints, which involved unique techniques.

1: Production Process: The creation of ukiyo-e involved a division of labor among three types of craftsmen: the painters, the carvers, and the printers. First, the painters would draw the design, then the carvers would engrave it onto woodblocks, and finally, the printers would apply colors in layers to create the print. This process allowed for the production of prints in large numbers, making them affordable to sell.

 

2: Technique: The characteristic of ukiyo-e was its use of multiple color printing, with different woodblocks used for each color. The woodblocks were precisely carved, and colors were layered to produce rich hues and depth. The fineness of lines and variations in color intensity also expanded the range of expression.

 

3: Cultural and Historical Significance: Ukiyo-e reflected the popular culture of the time, depicting everyday life, customs, landscapes, kabuki actors, and portraits of beautiful women during the Edo period. These works were widely beloved among the common people and contributed to the development of Edo culture. Furthermore, in the late 19th century, ukiyo-e had a significant impact on Western culture through the Japonism movement and its influence on Impressionist painters.

Ukiyo-e is highly regarded around the world, even today, for its technical excellence and its rich representation of Japanese culture and society.

Would you like to experience the enchanting art of Ukiyo-e creation at Japan's oldest Ukiyo-e studio? Create your own Ukiyo-e masterpiece under the guidance of an authentic Ukiyo-e artisan and make an unforgettable memory to last a lifetime.

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Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

Experience at Takahashi Kobo (Studio), Japan's oldest and most prestigious ukiyo-e studio. 

Takahashi Kobo (Studio) is Japan's oldest and most prestigious ukiyo-e studio, with a history of over 160 years. 

 

Originating from the Edo period as a family of 'printers,' the studio also assumed the role of 'publisher' from the fourth generation.

 

In the past, ukiyo-e artisans even demonstrated their skills to the Emperor.

 

Enjoy a genuine ukiyo-e-making experience with the real artisans at this workshop.

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

Takahashi Studio promoting ukiyo-e internationally

Takahashi Studio participated in the 'Hokusai Beyond the great wave' exhibition at the British Museum, where they held lectures and demonstrations.

 

Additionally, they have been actively promoting ukiyo-e internationally, with lectures and demonstrations at The Detroit Institute of the Arts in USA, the 'DENTO-HOUSE PARIS' exhibition in France, and 'Milano Salone 2016' in Italy, among others.

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

About traditional printing tool “Baren”

“Baren”, a vital tool for ukiyo-e printers, is meticulously crafted using traditional materials and techniques. Artisans create a baren by intricately weaving thin strands of carefully selected bamboo skin into a long, slender rope.

 

This rope is then spiraled to form the baren’s core, encased in layers of Japanese paper shaped into a dish and coated with multiple layers of lacquer. Finally, it's wrapped in bamboo skin.

 

Printers use various types of baren, each specifically chosen based on the area and technique of printing. This traditional yet sophisticated tool fascinates with its intricate design and crucial role in ukiyo-e creation.

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

You can take home one authentic ukiyo-e piece, ukiyo-e fans and ukiyo-e book cover 

You can take home one authentic Ukiyo-e print made by a craftsman (valued at around 20,000 yen), one handheld fan, and one book cover adorned with Ukiyo-e prints that you have created.

Takahashi Studio also sells renowned ukiyo-e woodblock prints by masters like Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, meticulously reproduced by skilled craftsmen. These authentic prints are made using mountain cherry woodblocks and 'Echizen Kizuki Bosho Washi,’ a type of paper crafted by a Living National Treasure.

 

Why not consider purchasing these as a unique memento of your visit to Japan?

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

Kagurazaka is a historic town depicted in ukiyo-e

Near Takahashi Studio lies Kagurazaka, a historic district also subject to Utagawa Hiroshige's ukiyo-e artworks.

 

Why not stroll around Kagurazaka with a local guide before or after your ukiyo-e-making experience at Takahashi Studio?

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing in Tokyo

Takahashi Studio is Located Near Our CEO's Residence

Takahashi Studio is situated just a 3-minute walk from our CEO's residence. Its proximity as a neighbor has made this authentic ukiyo-e creation plan a reality.

 

The area where Takahashi Studio and our CEO's house are located has long been a hub for the printing industry.

Ukiyo-e Woodblock Printing Experience Tour Information

Meeting point

Meeting place will be decided upon consultation with the customer.

Tour Duration

Approximately 2 hours.

Including the Kagurazaka street walking tour, it will be a total of approximately 4 hours.

The meeting and dispersal times will be decided after consulting with the customer.

Accessibility

We hope to welcome as many people as possible to participate in the Ukiyo-e woodblock printing experience. Please consult with us in advance if you require wheelchair access or if children will be participating. In consultation with 'Takahashi Studio,' we will make every effort to accommodate everyone. However, please understand that due to the age of the workshop and the presence of steps, we cannot guarantee participation for everyone.

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