Hokusai Reborn

Bringing Hokusai's unpublished drawings to life!

The Great Picture Book of Everything

As part of their annual creation of sets of woodblock prints available by subscription, Dave Bull's Mokuhankan workshop in Asakusa, Tokyo, is undertaking a project in collaboration with the British Museum, in London.

The Museum has in their possession a group of drawings by Hokusai that were apparently intended for use in the production of a series of books. For reasons unknown to us now that project was cancelled, but the drawings survived, and we have selected 12 of them for a new subscription series.

For more details of the collection of images, please refer to this page of the British Museum website. But here, we can simply note that the drawings fall into a number of categories, and our set will reflect that diversity. Hokusai's series was intended to take his readers through aspects of Japanese historical culture, and we will meet Buddhist deities, warriors from ancient China, and historical landscapes, along with more prosaic scenes of the natural world.

The prints will be 13.5 x 18.5 cm in format (slightly larger than 5 x 7 inches), and will be made on a thin version of our usual hosho washi, made in the workshop of Iwano Ichibei.

Note: because the Hokusai Reborn series is still 'under construction', complete sets (all at once) are not yet available. New people joining do not start part-way along; all subscribers start with the first print in the set, and receive one print each month until the set of 12 is complete.

We hope you will consider collecting this interesting set of prints, and travelling with us through Hokusai's 'Book of Everything'! [Subscription page]

The Production Team

There is a very interesting aspect to this project that is very different from our previous work. These new prints will not be 'reproductions', in the sense that they are freshly carved versions of something that was already carved years ago. Our team will be working from the drawings, something very unfamiliar to craftsmen these days.

We are going to use three carvers: Dave, his co-worker Chon-san (who carved the most recent two designs in the Eight Views series), and Motoharu Asaka, a traditional carver of Dave's age. These three men are going to do four designs each (from the four overall themes represented in this set: Chinese legends, early Asian Buddhism from India, the natural world, and 'miscellany') will each bring their own 'taste' to the designs - a natural consequence of the production process. It is going to be of great interest to see the differences as we move along.

The Set of Prints ...

Special Update:

We are sorry, but we are currently unable to accept any new subscriptions to the 'Hokusai Reborn' set at the moment, due to over-whelming demand. We fully intend to make more of these prints, as the block sets are completely capable of it, but we simply don't have enough printers on staff here at present to make them. Once we get the resources figured out, we will make more prints available; thank you for your patience!

If you would like to be notified when the next batch is ready, please let us know through the Contact Page, and we will add you to the waiting list.


"How do I store my prints? How can I display them? Do I need to buy frames?" are some of the questions we receive about our subscription print sets, and after much experimentation and research, we have the answer to all those questions in one neat package - our combination storage/display box (shown at the top of this page).

The box is an optional purchase - typically ordered together with the first print in the set, but also available later as an 'add-on' option. Each box has room for the complete set of 12 prints in this series, and incorporates a display stand with acrylic dustcover. Rotate the prints frequently (and don't place it where direct sunlight will fall on the print surface), and you have the perfect solution for both long-term storage, and daily enjoyment of your collection! Here is a page with more photos and complete information.

The Mokuhankan update video that first introduced the series:

We hope you will consider collecting this interesting set of prints!