Chokosai Eisho -Young Man with

mokuhanga   japanese woodblock prints

In Japanese "moku" means wood and "hanga" means print, therefore mokuhanga is the Japanese term for woodblock print.

Coming originally from China, woodblock printing was mastered in Japan. Originally, prints were produced by carving the key outlines and painting on top to produce full colour images. However, in the Edo era, the art of multicoloured printing was mastered and  became widely available to the general public.

Today there are very few masters on this craft.

Practically, the art of mokuganga is carving colour separated images in reverse and then printing these on traditional Japanese paper called "washi" using water colour inks. Usually starting from lighter colours first, the image is built up over many numbers of impressions to produce a final image.