Books on the making of Japanese woodblock prints


There is a surprisingly small number of English books available on the making of Japanese woodblock prints. Of these, the two books written by members of the Yoshida family (Hiroshi and Tōshi) and the eBook by David Bull definitely stand out. The original books of Hiroshi and Tōshi Yoshida are quite difficult to obtain. Fortunately, an electronic version of the book written by Hiroshi is available by clicking on the link shown below.

All the book images can be clicked (and then clicked again) to obtain a larger (and even larger) view of the book cover.


Umetaro_Azechi Azechi, Umetaro (1963). Japanese Woodblock Prints. Their Techniques and Appreciation. Tokyo: Toto Shuppan Company, Ltd.
David_Bull Bull, David (2009). Your First Print. An introduction to Japanese Woodblock Printmaking. Tokyo: Mokuhankan Publishing.

Note: This wonderful and highly instructive eBook can be obtained here.
Reiko_Chiba Chiba, Reiko (1959). The making of a Japanese print. Harunobu’s ‘‘Heron maid’’. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company.

Note: With many thanks to my brother Michel for giving me this book. Its complete contents can be viewed here.
Sylvie Covey book on printmaking Covey, Sylvie (2016). Modern Printmaking. A Guide to Traditional and Digital Techniques. Berkeley: Watson-Guptill Publications.

Note: This book covers a grand total of fifteen printmaking techniques, one of them being the Japanese woodblock printmaking process.
Reiko_Chiba Doi Hangaten (ca 1951). The Process of Wood-Cut Printing. Tokyo: Doi Hangaten.

Note: This little book shows the ten impressions used in the printing process of Tsuchiya Koitsu’s postcard print Arashiyama (嵐山) published in 1936. The first and last pages of the book can be viewed here and here.
Akira_Kurosaki_Moku_Hanga_large Kurosaki, Akira (1999). 木版画 (Moku Hanga). Tokyo: NHK Shuppan.
Laitinen_et_al Laitinen, Kari, Moilanen, Tuula, and Tanttu, Antti (1999). The Art and Craft of Woodblock Printmaking. Woodblock Printmaking with Oil-based Inks and the Japanese Watercolour Woodcut. Helsinki: University of Art and Design.
Keiki_Hiratsuka_Moore Hiratsuka Moore, Keiko (1973). Moku Hanga. How to make Japanese wood block prints. Washington: Acropolis Books Ltd.
Miller_Kanada Miller Kanada, Margaret (1989). Color Woodblock Printmaking. The Traditional Method of Ukiyo-e. Tokyo: Shufunomoto Co., Ltd.
Nishijima Katsuyuki Nishijima, Katsuyuki (1976). 版画入門 基礎 実作 応用 (pronounced as Hanga irimon Kiso Jissaku Ōyō and translating into something like An introduction to printmaking. Basis, practice, and applications.). Publisher: Bunken Living Guide.

Note: With many thanks to David Bull for giving me this book while visiting Japan in May 2017. According to David this is one of the best books available on the technique of Japanese woodblock printmaking. Out of print and available in Japanese only.
Walter_Phillips Phillips, Walter J. (1926). The Technique of the Color Wood-Cut. Brown-Robertson Co., Inc.

Note: The complete contents of this book can be viewed here.
Matthi_Forrer_Hokusai_2011 Sadamura, Tadashi (1987). いま、北斎が甦る (pronounced as Ima, Hokusai ga yomigaeru, and translating into something like Hokusai now brought back to life). Publisher: Kawade Shobo Shinsha.

Note: This Japanese book shows how original woodblocks of the Ehon Sumida Gawa Ryōgan Ichiran designed by Hokusai (which were donated by William Bigelow (1850-1920) to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and rediscovered there in 1986) were used to obtain new impressions of these three picture books. With many thanks to David Bull for sending me this book as a gift.
Rebecca_Salter Salter, Rebecca (2001). Japanese Woodblock Printing. London: A & C Black.
Simmons_Clemson Translation in Dutch of:

Simmons, Rosemary, and Clemson, Katie (1988). The complete manual of relief printmaking: a practical guide to the tools and techniques of linocutting, woodcutting and wood engraving.

De Bilt: Cantecleer BV.
Tomikichiro_Tokuriki Tokuriki, Tomikichiro (1970). Wood-block Print Primer. San Francisco: Japan Publications Trading Company.
Tomikichiro_Tokuriki(2) Tokuriki, Tomikichiro (1975). Wood-block Printing. Osaka: Hoikusha Publishing Co., Ltd.
Hiroshi_Yoshida_Wood_Block_Printing Yoshida, Hiroshi (1939). Japanese Wood-Block Printing. Tokyo: The Sanseido Company Ltd.

Note 1: The complete contents of this book can be obtained in electronic format here.
Note 2: Included as a frontispiece is an original small scale version (15.9 x 10.4 cm) of Hiroshi Yoshida’s print ‘‘Cherry and Castle’’ which can be seen here.
Note 3: Also contains original day- and night-time versions of Hiroshi Yoshida’s print ‘‘A Junk’’ of size 16.0 x 9.6 cm which can be seen here and here, respectively.
Yoshida_Yuki_book Yoshida, Tōshi and Yuki, Rei (1966). Japanese Print Making. A Handbook of Traditional & Modern Techniques. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc.


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