Stork in Rain (コウノトリと雨)

Designer: Yoshijiro Urushibara | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Shun Yamamoto

Paper size: 22.5cm by 15.5cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [M] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 75.00£ 56.50€ 64.50 [Reprinting]

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Description: Is this a stork? I have to say, I don’t really know! But then, I never could tell all those long-legged birds apart ... heron, egret, stork. In any case, this bird is obviously of that type, whichever it may be ...

The original of this print was not only designed, but also cut and printed, by Yoshijiro Urushibara. And what is most interesting - it was ‘Made in England’.

The influence of Japanese design on the West during the period after Japan’s ‘opening’ is well documented. Japanese participation in many large-scale international Expositions in Europe and America in the last half of the 19th century provided one of the main routes for Japanese culture to be disseminated throughout the world. A popular ‘feature’ of these expositions were the demonstrations of various Japanese arts and crafts given by craftsmen. For the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition held in London in 1910 a group of woodblock print craftsmen was brought from Japan, and among them was the young (he was then 22 years old) printer Urushibara. At the closing of the Exhibition, he did not return to Japan, but stayed on in London, where he worked at the British Museum on the making of reproduction prints, print restoration and scroll mounting. He did a bit of work with European designers, doing the carving and printing for some ‘collaborative’ prints, and also produced a series of his own prints, and although they are not particularly ‘original’ in design - as this example demonstrates - they are all attractive and tasteful.

Urushibara had quite an influence on the development of a group of British artists who were attempting to make colour woodblock prints during this period. They had almost no access at all to traditional Japanese techniques, and were struggling to ‘figure out’ how it was done, but with his assistance, they were able to start producing interesting and attractive prints, doing all parts of the work - design, carving and printing - on their own.

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