A woodblock print reproduction created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Hokusai's birth. This is a series of 10 woodblock prints in a traditional accordion-type album binding. The first edition is owned by the BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), who was a collaborator on this reproduction project. In this series of Hokusai prints, a sumihan, or keyblock, was not used. Instead, the lines printed in genuine indigo serve as the purpose of the keyblock. "Choshi in Shimosa Province" features two impressive waves flowing in opposite directions. This print is the most famous and extraordinary work in the series. Enjoy this work and the universe of the vast ocean it depicts.
Size: Print size Height 18.5 cm × width 26.5 cm, frame size: Height 33.5 cm × width 48.5 cm × diameter 3 cm
Founded during the Ansei period (1854-1860), Takahashi Kobo has been making woodblock prints for approximately 160 years, since the Edo period (1603-1867). Originally working as Surishi (the artisans who colour the woodblocks and print the final image) on Edo woodblock prints, the Takahashi family began publishing prints after their fourth generation took over. "The work of woodblock printing is the root of Japanese printing. From temple school textbooks to ukiyo-e prints and wrapping paper, Japanese printing has always been supported by the technique of woodblock printing," says Yukiko Takahashi, the sixth generation of the Takahashi family.
During the Edo period, ukiyo-e prints served the purpose of informative magazines. For example, in the image of a beautiful woman, fashion trends of the time such as the design of the kimono and furniture, hairstyle, and hand fan, were all depicted in meticulous detail. The artistic value of ukiyo-e is such that it is now recognized globally.
Currently, Takahashi Kobo prints a wide variety of themes using woodblock, from traditional ukiyo-e to modern art. Furthermore, Takahashi produces merchandise sold at museum exhibitions and also holds lectures, demonstrations, and workshops by artisans at museums and schools. Such initiatives, which give new life to the culture of Edo woodblock prints by sharing and experiencing of the history and techniques associated them, have been highly popular and more and more offers have been coming from overseas recently, such as from Paris and London.
However, Takahashi says, "Ukiyo-e prints remain the base of woodblock prints. As we make use of this rich tradition and culture, I would like to use all five senses to capture current trends, embody them, and use them to produce works that suit contemporary lifestyles."