Night Scene at Fujisawa (藤沢の夜)

Designer: Utagawa Hiroshige | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Tsutomu Mitamura

Paper size: 11cm by 15cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [HC] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 60.00£ 43.50€ 51.50

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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. 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, as one of the blocks was missing completely - the one for the slanting rain shower - and needed to be recut from scratch. A couple of the others were worn a bit more than we would have liked, leaving some slight defects in the print, but overall, we felt that the pleasure of bringing the print back to life was well worth it!

The block set was apparently produced by the Tanseido Company, almost certainly in the late Meiji period. It is very interesting to note that no original Hiroshige print of this design - as we see it here - has ever been noted, but a simpler version of the image is present in a book collection he designed (image below). The presumption is that Tanseido used that version to create a 'new' Hiroshige print.

And indeed, that process does not differ in any important way from the way that most of the old ukiyo-e were published. The designer would frequently hand in fairly simple sketches and drawings, and the publisher's team would then take them to completion. There was no need at all for the designer to be present along the way, "Let's use a deep green here ..." The team was perfectly capable of putting together a 'Hiroshige' print.

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