松島 (Matsushima)

Designer: Tsuchiya Koitsu | Printer: Shun Yamamoto

Paper size: 27.5cm by 20cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 135.00£ 109.00€ 125.00

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Description: This design was originally published by the Doi Hanga-ten in January of 1936, and this new Mokuhankan edition is being produced using the original block set, loaned to us for this use by the grand-daughter of the founder of that company.

The blocks were used many times over the years to pull editions, but generally without adequate supervision of the printers, and the impressions vary widely in both colour tones and in overall quality. For this edition, we used as a master reference a very early copy made while the founder was still alive and supervising the process.

The blocks were generally in acceptable condition, but over the years different printers had made adjustments to them to suit their own particular requirements, and a fair amount of restoration was necessary. We documented quite a bit of that process, and videos are on our YouTube channel, with the first one being here.

Producing these new editions has been an excellent learning experience for our (relatively) young printing staff, as to date they have mostly done work from freshly carved blocks, and had to learn a wide range of new techniques to handle the challenges posed by such old (and warped and chipped) blocks. But we hope that as you look at the prints, you can't detect much of the struggle that went on behind the scenes!

The design: the image is of one of Japan's most famous scenic destinations - the group of islands near Sendai known as Matsushima (Pine Islands). Just change the sail on that small boat, and this scene could be today ...

[ We have a 4-page .pdf pamphlet outlining the process of making the print; it can be downloaded here. ]

The embossment reads: "Asakusa Mokuhankan / Doi Hangaten / Hori (carver): Harada / Suri (printer) Ohashi"

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