Category: Japanese Art
Artwork Panel: 28.6cm x 41cm ≈ 11¼" x 16"
Silk/Brocade: 37.8cm x 98cm ≈ 14¾" x 38½"
Width at Wooden Knobs: 46.8cm ≈ 18½"Information about caring for your wall scroll
This depicts the most famous scene from the series, "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon". The Japanese title is, "Inabayama no Tsuki".
Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
Incredible, dramatic night scene showing Hideyoshi bravely climbing a hidden route to the Gifu castle. The daring plan to take the castle was successful due to Hideyoshi's ingenuity and courage. A huge moon dominates the scene placed low in the print to give the image weight. The moon backlights suski grass- combining two of Yoshitoshi's favorite design elements. Hideyoshi carries a long katana stretching from the moon to the tile cartouche in the print.
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was a Japanese artist. He is widely recognized as the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock printing and painting. He is also regarded as one of the form's greatest innovators.
This is a mechanically-printed reproduction of a very old Japanese woodblock print. This was made months ago, rather than centuries ago.
Original artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892).
Original woodblock was created in Japan, around 1885.
Contrary to popular belief, woodblock printing (and in a way, the first printing press) was invented in China. Both artwork and whole books were produced in China using the woodblock print technique. Much of this artwork and printed books made their way to Japan. Emulating the methods and adding to the style, Japanese artists took woodblock printing to the next level.
In Japan, wood block prints are known as or "Moku Hanga". Most were produced during the Edo period (1603–1867). To put that in prospective, that's from before what is now the USA was even a British colony, to just after the Civil War. Some artists continued creating prints into the early 1900s.
At that time, Japanese artists would create "template paintings" with detailed images of "everyday life" scenes of Japan. Some of these "everyday life" or (Ukiyo-e), which translates as "Floating World" images, depict battling Samurai, beheadings, and even prostitution. This leads you to believe that "everyday life", was rather exciting in ancient Japan. However, most Ukiyo-e prints were more tame scenes of everything from women washing clothes, to men writing poetry.
After creating the template, the artist would then have another artisan carve large blanks of wood with those images. The carved wood blocks were then given to yet another artisan, known as an "inker". The inker would then carefully apply wet ink or colorful paint to the various carved surfaces. A sheet of handmade paper was then pressed over the inked woodblock to create the final print. The process was laborious, but not as tedious as hand-painting hundreds of copies from scratch.
If this was an "original" Japanese woodblock print, dating back to the Edo period, the price would be anywhere from $800 to $20,000.
Just to be clear again: This is a reproduction.
The quality of this reproduction is very good, but a true expert will spot this as a reproduction after examining it for a few moments.
I use handmade kozo (mulberry) paper - the same kind of paper that Japanese woodblock print makers used centuries ago.
The pigment-based ink is archival and UV-resistant. The ink manufacturer claims that the giclée prints created with this ink will last 200 years if not in direct sunlight. I figure you'll get a lifetime of enjoyment if you take good care of this wall scroll. I spend hours making sure the colors are vibrant, and touching up areas that might be damaged or missing from the old original print. The result is very close to what the woodblock print would look like if you could go back in time to the Edo period, and buy it from the artist's studio in old Japan.
For years I tried to find a printer that could handle handmade xuan paper without wrinkling, jamming, or clogging print heads. After trying and buying several giclée printers that gave mixed results, I finally found the quality I was looking for in a HP DesignJet z6100 printer with a price tag of around $15000! However, it is a finicky printer that takes about 5 tries to load a sheet of handmade paper (the printer's sensors seem to hate the deckled edge of handmade paper, and often refuse to accept that the paper is loaded with no skew).
I have to use this printer in the USA to create the print, as I can't get a license for such a machine at my other studio in Beijing (The Chinese government fears that I will make counterfeit Chinese currency, or Pro-Democracy propaganda posters with it).
After carefully printing and inspecting this artwork, I sent the raw print on kozo paper to my workshop in Beijing where it was built into a handmade wall scroll. This makes it ready-to-hang (no expensive framing needed), and gives the whole piece a very traditional Asian look.
Because the artist of this piece passed away long ago, and the original artwork is over 100 years old, there is no copyright. However, in some cases, I have paid a license fee to the owner of the original Japanese woodblock print for access to create the digitized image. In a few cases, I bought original 200-year-old woodblock prints and drum-scanned it at high-resolution.
All of this effort on my part means you get a really beautiful Japanese woodblock print reproduction, for a very affordable price. I am not sure I will ever make a profit on these (I would need to charge about double this price if that was the goal), but I really like to make unique Asian artwork affordable and accessible to everyone.
Want a customized wall scroll or custom sized print? Just contact me!
I can print this larger, on the paper texture of your choice, and give you whatever silk brocade colors you want. It does take several weeks, but worth the wait if you want something really custom and unique.
This item was listed or modified
Nov 28th, 2016
Gary's random little things about China:
So after traveling to China, you have just finished your first meal in a real Chinese restaurant.
But the bill comes, and the waiter forgot to bring everyone their fortune cookies!
Well, actually not...
You see, fortune cookies did not come from China (at least not directly).
One legend has it in the late 1800s or early 1900s, a Chinese man running a noodle making shop in San Francisco accidentally mixed a bunch of sugar in his dough, and didn't want to waste it. So he made cookies and stuck papers with people's fortunes on them as a novelty.
In the end, it's really the Chinese visitors to America that are confused when the waiter brings them a blob of sugary noodle dough with a piece of paper stuck in it.