雷門 (Kaminari-mon)

Designer: Utagawa Hiroshige | Printer: Atsushi Kawai

Paper size: 10cm by 14.5cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 60.00£ 48.00€ 52.00

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Description: This little print is a very unusual item in our HangaClub series - although it was printed here in our Mokuhankan workshop, we did not do the carving. We made this print using an antique set of blocks, dating from sometime in the pre-war period (perhaps the 1930s). We have been haunting auction sites for such blocks, and were recently able to make a purchase of a number of old sets, some in useable condition, some warped and aged beyond repair. This block set wasn't perfect, and there are some places where the wood has been knocked or worn a bit, leaving some slight defects in the print, but we felt that it was still worthwhile using for production.

It was the Takamizawa Company - at the time the pre-eminent workshop for doing such work - who produced this block set. All of us here at Mokuhankan were astonished when we inspected the carving; not just the microscopic level of detail, but the taste and finesse of the work. Although we here have no reason to be embarrassed by the work we are currently doing, it has been a bit eye-opening to realize that there are mountains still waiting to be climbed!

This image has particular meaning for us here at Mokuhankan - the location depicted is the famous Kaminari-mon, just a few minutes walk from our building in Asakusa. Back in Hiroshige’s time, the gate was much larger and more elaborate than it is now, but after burning down in the 1860s, the space remained empty for nearly 100 years. Kaminari-mon was only replaced during the runup to the 1964 Olympics, when the now world-famous gate (and lantern) was built.

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