河口湖 (Lake Kawaguchi)

Designer: Kawase Hasui | Printer: Chiharu Kanai

Paper size: 39cm by 18.5cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 180.00£ 145.00€ 165.00

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Description: This design was originally published by the Doi Hanga-ten in 1932, 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 had no early print to use as a master reference, but in its place we had access to something more rare - the original water colour painting by Hasui himself. We certainly can't follow that 'directly', because it's of course not a print, something that we could copy tone for tone; it simply served as a guide for the original cutters and printers. So we used it to give us the overall 'look and feel' of the image, and then created our own version after extensive test printing.

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.

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!

Note: We have a YouTube video documenting the printing process ...

The embossment is in two sections. The upper one reads (right to left) "Asakusa Mokuhankan / Doi Hanga-ten" The lower one: "Carver - Harada / Printer - Ohashi"

For reference, here's the Hasui original watercolour ...

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