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江戸木版画
Edo woodblock prints
About Edo woodblock prints

While the history of woodblock prints in Japan dates back to about 1,200 years ago, Edo woodblock prints were developed after the Edo period (1603-1868). That was largely a result of the success of Ukiyo-e painters such as Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige.


Edo woodblock prints are created by three professionals: a painter who draws the design, a woodcarver who engraves the design on the surfaces of wooden blocks, and a printer who prints the design on washi paper. Early prints were used only black ink and brush coloring was gradually been adopted. Following two-color and three-color printing techniques, a multi-color printing technique was established. After gorgeously colorful Ukiyo-e paints called Nishiki-e were invented, these paints became very popular among ordinal people in Edo.


Nowadays, artisans who have inherited these techniques produce woodblock prints by using traditional Ukiyo-e and original motifs.

Designated as a Traditional Craft of Japan in 2007
Creators of Edo woodblock prints

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Edo woodblock prints to color life