Learn the Art of Mokuhanga

You have probably seen some amazing Japanese woodblock prints and wondered how it’s made. Making these prints is what is known as mokuhanga. The word moku means ‘wood,’ and hanga means ‘prints.’ And you can learn the centuries-old step-by-step process with an experienced teacher at one of these ukiyo-e workshops in Japan.

Topics Covered

  • The Mokuhankan Ukiyo-e Workshop
  • The Kyoto International Mokuhanga School
  • Special events
  • University printmaking degrees
DescriptionBuy
A detailed biography of the life and art of the most famous ukiyo-e artist in history – Katsushika Hokusai.A detailed biography of the life and art of the most famous ukiyo-e artist in history – Katsushika Hokusai. The book also contains images of 100 of his art pieces with explanatory captions.
Something Wicked from Japan: Ghosts, Demons & Yokai in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces (Japanese Edition)Something Wicked from Japan: Ghosts, Demons & Yokai in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces (Japanese Edition)
This 240-page book features woodblock prints from various artists created during the Edo period (1603-1868). All work features monsters from Japanese folklore.
Japanese Woodblock Prints: Artists, Publishers, and Masterworks: 1680 - 1900Japanese Woodblock Prints: Artists, Publishers, and Masterworks: 1680 – 1900
Features 500 prints from various artists created between the 1680s to 1900.

The Mokuhankan Ukiyo-e Workshop

Learn the art of Mokuhanga at the David Bull Woodblock Workshop.
Kent Wang from London, United Kingdom, Mokuhankan (16200105176) (2), CC BY-SA 2.0

The Mokuhankan Ukiyo-e Workshop, located in Tokyo, is run by Canadian-born David Bull. David has been a resident of Japan for decades and has been a practitioner of ukiyo-e for the last 30 years. His studio in the Asakusa district is where he holds ‘Print Parties.’ Print parties, which last an hour on average, are the ideal opportunity for individuals and small groups of people who want to come in and make woodblock prints from pre-made blocks – which is perfect for those who do not have the time to undergo the entire learning experience.

Visit the official website here for more information.


The Kyoto International Mokuhanga School

The Kyoto International Mokuhanga School first opened for business in 2015. It’s run by US-born Richard Steiner, a Kyoto resident since 1972 and a woodblock printer with 45 years of experience. The school offers short-term (a couple of days) to long-term (3 months and longer) courses where you will learn the entire process from start to finish.

Visit the official website here for more information.


Alternative options

If the options seem limited, that’s because they are. There are other options available, which we will list below, but these are either very infrequent events or require more money and commitment.


Special events

Several one-day long ukiyo-e workshops are held at certain times of the year across Japan. Ukiyo-e print masters hold most of these events, and also some art schools and even art museums. The best way to know when and where one is taking place is by regularly visiting event websites.


University printmaking degrees

4-year long art degrees are specializing in woodblock prints, which one can take at various Japanese universities. This is not for the slightly curious or part-time hobbyist, but if you are interested in an art degree with a focus on Japanese printmaking, visit the Kyoto Seika University website.


Related Content

Check out the ultimate guide to Japanese woodblock prints here.

Find out about some of the most famous and influential woodblock print artists over the last 300 years here.