五月雨 (Arakawa Spring Rain)

Designer: Kawase Hasui | Publisher: Doi Hanga | Date: 1932

Paper size: 39cm by 26.5cm | Enlargement | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 330.00£ 265.00€ 300.00 (includes EMS Shipping & Insurance)

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Description: This is a brand-new edition being pulled from the blocks owned by the Doi Hanga company, originally carved in 1932.

There is a bit of a 'back story' to this edition. We here at Mokuhankan have been using many of the old Doi blocks - having our young print staff pull new editions from them. We began doing this a few years ago, starting with small images, and gradually working up to more complex designs. We avoided most of the large-scale nishiki-ban prints like this one, due to their greater difficulty.

But in the fall of 2018, Dave and the young printer Ayumi Ohashi decided to have her make a stab at doing this design, and after a few practice runs, she pulled a batch of about 40 prints. Once they were all done, she and Dave went over them very carefully, and decided not to offer them in the catalogue - it wasn't that they were 'bad', but just that they had an accumulation of too many small defects. The complexity of the job had been just a bit over her ability level, and the prints weren't something that they would be proud of.

Shortly after this, the Doi people were making a visit with the purpose of picking up the block set, and saw this batch of prints. They felt astonished that we wouldn't publish them, and it was perhaps at this point that they came to realise what we here at Mokuhankan are trying to do - to make prints that match the best of any that had been taken from these block sets ...

They told us that they intended to have this block set printed anew by one of the currently working professional printers in Tokyo, and asked us if we would be interested in selling them in our catalogue. We pointed to Ayumi-san's edition, and made it clear to them that the presence of even small defects like the ones visible there would mean our answer would be 'no'.

So away they went with the blocks ... here we are with the new prints they have sent us, from the workbench of Itakura-san. I have no idea just what they said to him when ordering the job, but it seems that he did indeed 'get the message' ...

And here we are!

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