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FAQ

1. What's “Ukiyo-e”, What is “Ukiyo” ?

Ukiyo-e is the woodblock print which was invented and produced in Edo era
(about 150~200 years ago).
“Ukiyo” is a word which means Contemporary.
“e” is a word which means Picture.
So, “Ukiyo-e” is a word which means Contemporary picture.
In Edo era, Ukiyo-e technology was used instead of photo, type, and
any kind of published matters in Japan.

2. What's Mokuhan?

“Mokuhan” is a word which means Woodblock print.
Ukiyo Mokuhan is the Japanese name of this store.
And, Ukiyo Woodblock print is the English name of this store.
So, Ukiyo Woodblock print means Contemporary Woodblock print.

3. Are all products at Ukiyo Mokuhan really wood block prints?

It is sure that all products at Ukiyo Mokuhan really wood block prints.
And, we guarantee they are all 100% hand made.

4. What's the different between a woodblock print and a standard copy?

Woodblock prints are hand made following the procedure as the material “How to make it”.
The paper is used Washi which is Japanese traditional high stamina paper.
And, Washi have high aspirate characteristic.
Regarding to condition after print, ink is putting on the paper in standard copy.
But, paint is soaked into Washi in woodblock print.
So, it makes unique color beauty for woodblock print.

 

Woodblock Print differences

 

5. Are woodblock prints changed color after long years passed?

It is sure that woodblock prints changed color after long time exhibition.
And, it is hard to escape as they are used water paint.
But, it cannot be seen in visual at least in 10 years.
As the direct ray of the sun will make the phenomenon earlier,
it is recommended to escape from sun light for exhibition.

6. What's the different between old woodblock prints and new ones?

We cannot print good quality using old woodblocks which were made in Edo era.
Because, they are tired after 150~200 years passed.
And, printed pictures in Edo era are changed color after 150~200 years passed.
Present Shokunin(Horishi) can make new woodblocks perfectly from the old printed pictures.
And, present Shokunin(Surishi) can print same quality as Edo era.
So, our products has same quality in Edo era, and this means
Our products has better quality than old ones, because they are changed color
after 150~200 years passed.
(Please refer to the additional material)

 

Woodblock Print diagram

7. What's the different between woodblock prints and other arts?

It is a historical famous story that great painters in Europe (ex: van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, etc) were big influenced from Japanese woodblock prints. This means Japanese woodblock prints have high artistic potential same as other great arts. In the other hand, woodblock print have unique character which can do mass-production. If we make use of character, we can produce and supply them in low price. We will supply amazing in low price which cannot be seen in other arts, if it have high artistic potential same as great arts.

8. What kind of special tools and materials are needed to make woodblock print?

That is also explained in “About Shokunin”.
For Horishi, they use special kind of woodblocks which are made from cherry tree in mountain.
And, they are using few kinds of sharp Choukokutou (Chip carving tool) for carving.
For Surishi, they are using special paper called Washi which is high stamina and
high aspirate characteristic Japanese traditional paper.
And, they are using special paint, brush, and Baren.
Shokunin is using tools and materials which are traditional, not modern high tec.
Basically, high technical skill of Shokunin is more important than using special tools and materials.

9. How many Shokunin are there in Japan?

High technical skill for woodblock print was established about 200 years ago in Edo era Japan.
This technic is taken over present Shokunin, but the number of Shokunin is very decreased.
In now, total number of Shokunin is about 50 in Tokyo, and about 20 in Kyoto.
Almost zero in other place in Japan, nether in other country.
So, in order to keep these number, it is important to produce and supply woodblock prints
as many as we can.