Learn the Art of Mokuhanga

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

The Mokuhankan Ukiyo-e Workshop

The Mokuhankan Ukiyo-e Workshop which is 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 is located in the Asakusa district from where he holds ‘Print Parties’. Print parties, which lasts an hour on average, are ideal for individuals to small groups who want to come in and make woodblock prints from pre-made blocks – which is ideal 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 woodblock printer with 45 years experience. The school offers both 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 it’s because they are. There are other options available which we will list below but these are either very infrequent or require more money and commitment.

Special events

A number of one day long ukiyo-e workshops are held at certain times of the year across Japan. Most of these events are either held by ukiyo-e printmasters, art schools or even art museums and the best way to know when and where is by regularly visiting event websites.

University printmaking degrees

There are 4 year long art degrees specializing in woodblock prints which one can take at various Japanese universities. This is obviously 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.

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