美術書出版株式会社 芸艸堂

Woodblock printing is a more than 1300 years old Japanese printing technique. Unsodo, established in 1891, is the only company today that still publishes books by hand in this way. The peak of woodblock printing occurred in the Edo period when ukiyo-e, finely printed images in multiple colors, began to be published. During this period, a number of masterpieces were created by Hokusai and many other artists which have had a significant influence on Western painters. The woodblock printing technique requires three different artisans; a painter, an engraver and a printer. Because a colorful print is built up from multiple woodblocks depending on how many colors are used in the original painting. Unsodo has been passing on their traditional woodblock printing techniques for generations now whilst keeping an eye on the life style and trends of the moment. We have, for instance, been producing products such as stationary and interior goods by making a few adjustments to the paintings made during the Meiji to early Showa periods to speak to today’s users. Furthermore, we have developed products together with the fashion brand UNIQLO, and we are looking forward to continue to collaborate with different disciplines both inside and outside of Japan.