安藝宮島 (Aki no Miyajima)

Designer: Tsuchiya Koitsu | Printer: Chiharu Kawai

Paper size: 37cm by 17cm | 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 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. The block to print both the sky and the base tone for the sea was replaced by us.

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 one of Japan's most famous scenic destinations: the 'floating gate' at Itsuku-shima Shrine on the Inland Sea near Hiroshima. What would the shin-hanga designers have done without such material for their brushes?

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