Katsushika Hokusai 1760-1849 

Department of Visual & Media Arts MARY BRODBECK UKIYO-E DEMONSTRATION February 12, 2016
Department of Visual & Media Arts MARY BRODBECK UKIYO-E DEMONSTRATION February 12, 2016

Hokusai produced his very first print in 1779 at the age of twenty. It was an actor print in the hosoban format signed Katsukawa Shunro. He built his career by creating more actor prints but was mainly active as a book illustrator.Hokusai also produced paintings throughout his life and his works surpassed those of other ukiyo-e masters in terms of both quality and quantity. He began to draw designs for large, single-sheet prints after the age of seventy. At this time he also started to produce landscape and flowers and birds prints; late in life he did however again concentrate on book illustrations and paintings. 

Hokusai  36 MOUNT FUJI VIEWS 46 UKYO-E PRINTS BY Takami Sawaki Bansha

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In summary Hokusai can be said to have contributed greatly to the field of ukiyo-e in a variety of ways. The series "Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji" was undertaken with the publisher Nishimura Eijudo when Hokusai was seventy-two years old. The prints of the series focus on Mt. Fuji, often showing glimpses of the people traveling or pursuing their daily activities. According to its title the series was originally intended to have thirty-six designs but Hokusai later added another ten prints because the series became very popular.Hokusai produced his very first print in 1779 at the age of twenty. It was an actor print in the hosoban format signed Katsukawa Shunro. He built his career by creating more actor prints but was mainly active as a book illustrator.Hokusai also produced paintings throughout his life and his works surpassed those of other ukiyo-e masters in terms of both quality and quantity. He began to draw designs for large, single-sheet prints after the age of seventy. At this time he also started to produce landscape and flowers and birds prints; late in life he did however again concentrate on book illustrations and paintings. In summary Hokusai can be said to have contributed greatly to the field of ukiyo-e in a variety of ways.

The series "Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji" was undertaken with the publisher Nishimura Eijudo when Hokusai was seventy-two years old. The prints of the series focus on Mt. Fuji, often showing glimpses of the people traveling or pursuing their daily activities.
According to its title the series was originally intended to have thirty-six designs but Hokusai later added another ten prints because the series became very popular.
These are Woodcut Prints selects a traditional Japanese hand-made paper called washi.
This paper is made from 100% paper-mulberry pulp. It is highly durable and an ideal material for Japanese traditional woodcut prints which requires multiple layers of color in its printing process. It  also brings vivid and warm colors which is one of the charms of Japanese traditional woodcut prints. Mineral and botanical pigments are mainly used.
In addition to black (sumi), red, blue and yellow are the three primary colors. The printer creates desirable colors to mix these primary colors together. The kogatana knife is representing the carving itself. It is used to cut the outlines of the drawing and its blade is sharpen thinner than paper which makes it possible to carve super fine lines. The chisels are used to carve unnecessary areas away.
The carver choses the different blade size of chisels for the area where he works. The baren rubbing pad is a unique tool for the woodcut printing and used to impress pigments into the delicate fibers of washi paper. The baren rubbing pad consists of three parts, the case made of thick layers of washi paper, the woven rope made of bamboo skins and the wrapper made from bamboo skins. The printer uses different size and shape of brushes for the areas where he applies the colors on the woodblock. Horse hair is used for these brushes.

The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints owns the printmaking studio where 
both carvers and printers work together to create works. The directors are also 
work with them in the studio to direct and supervise the every single process. 
This perfect triangle of skillful artisans and the knowledgeable directors make 
all of Adachi's works finish in the highest quality. 
If yu want the best, with Adachi you got the best!