'Embrace the Delight'

A very unusual woodblock subscription series from Mokuhankan

This is not possible ... is it?

More than 60 prints. Hand-carved, hand-printed woodblock prints. That's what you will receive over the course of the year of your subscription to our 'Embrace the Delight' print series.

That may seem quite a stunning statement, but those of you reading this who are also regular viewers of our Twitch stream - where we frequently Show & Tell prints from our Collection - will be able to guess what this is about. Yes. Matchlabel prints.

During the course of 2022, the team at Mokuhankan moved back in time, almost exactly a hundred years, to an era when the production of collectible sets of such delightful woodblock prints was common here in Japan, and created a new group of themed matchlabel prints each and every month.


Half of the groups (in the odd-numbered months) were reproductions of matchlabel prints in our own Collection; the kind of thing you see in the photo above - nature, landscape, kabuki, etc. That was interesting in itself, but making only reproductions of prints that already exist is not the best use of our skills here, so in the alternating months, we made prints based on designs from our long-term partner Ukiyo-e Heroes designer Jed Henry. We gave him a free hand, and he came up with a very nice mix of images, including Tokyo scenery, festivals, food, and some of his own characters.

The Prints

All the prints are in the traditional 'matchlabel' format, 6 x 4 cm (roughly 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches), some groups vertical, some horizontal. The number of prints in each monthly group varies from 5 to 8 depending on the level of complexity (most sets have five).

Storage of your collection as it grows during the year is very simple. The prints fit perfectly into 'stockbooks' created for stamp collectors (see sample below) and which are available anywhere. (Or we can of course supply one for you.)

The prints are small and easily packaged, so the monthly postage charges for this series are low, and because each set arrives in your mailbox as an AirMail letter, not a 'package', it should be ignored by the Customs agents in most countries.

Our design/carving/printing team had a wonderfully fulfilling year of work on this project! We hope you will join us for this unusual - and very special - printmaking event!

Update: Now that the series is complete, there are two ways to obtain it - 1) either purchase the entire set all-at-once, or 2) as a monthly subscription: start anytime with Group #1, and work your way through one month at a time ...


Here is an image of the postage stamp album that we are using to store the matchlabel prints in the Collection here at Mokuhankan. The black backing sheets set off the prints beautifully. 'Stockbooks' of this type are available anywhere, and you should be able to find a good one locally. If not, the one shown here is available from us.

Another advantage of this particular album is the way that the inner pages are not permanently fastened into the album, but can be slipped out from their sleeves. This means that if you just 'happen' to have the paulownia box we supplied for our Scenes from Nature subscription series, you have a place to display these!

[Update on storage: we've heard from a number of friends and collectors about other ideas for storing these prints. It seems there are many products on the market these days that provide safe 'archival' storage for such things as baseball cards, board game supplies, and all manner of anime and game-related cards.]

The Mokuhankan update video that introduced the series:

We hope you will consider collecting this interesting set of prints! (Price and postage information for all our sets is on the subscription page.)