Ofuji of the Yanagi Shop
Japanese Woodblock Print Repro
Wall Scroll

Ofuji of the Yanagi Shop - Japanese Woodblock Print Repro - Wall Scroll
Ofuji of the Yanagi Shop - Japanese Woodblock Print Repro - Wall Scroll
124.1cm
48¾"
46.2cm
18¼"

Typical Gallery Price: $130.00

Your Price: $59.88


• Delivered to you in Ashburn by Aug 13th.
• Standard shipping is just $3.80 for any order.
• Just 1 in stock now.
• Fine Art Giclée Print.
• Handmade Wall Scroll.
• Money-Back Guarantee.

Approximate Measurements

Artwork Panel: 28cm x 62.3cm ≈ 11" x 24½"

Silk/Brocade: 37.2cm x 124.1cm ≈ 14½" x 48¾"

Width at Wooden Knobs: 46.2cm ≈ 18¼"

Information about caring for your wall scroll
See Larger Image
一筆齊文調畫

Ofuji of the Yanagi Shop

This features the young beauty Ofuji (お藤) working in the Yanagi storefront.

Ofuji of the Yanagi Shop - Japanese Woodblock Print Repro - Wall Scroll close up view

Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll

This is a giclee-printed reproduction of a very old Japanese woodblock print. This was made months ago, rather than centuries ago. This reproduction is actually 4x bigger than the original by area (twice the width and twice the length) which makes a bigger/better presentation to enjoy in your home.

Original artist: Ippitsusai Bunchō / 一筆齋文調 (1725-1794).

Original woodblock was created in Japan, Meiwa era, within the Edo period, around 1769.
On the left, this artwork is signed 一筆齊文調画 which is the artist's signature with the character for painting, 画, at the end - indicates he is the original painter/creator. His stamp reads "Mori uji" - Mori being his real surname.

This features the beautiful Ofuji sitting at the front of the store as a "come-on" (kamban musume, literally, "signboard girl").
Beside her is the small grindstone used to crush the gallnuts found on sumac (nurude) into the black powder painted onto their teeth by married women of that period.
Ofuji is preparing packets of the powder and the split-bamboo toothbrushes with which this was applied.
The advertisement on the wall behind her, written under the willow-branch emblem of the store, gives the name of the powder as "Genji Perfumed Gallnut Powder" (Genji Nioi Fushi).

The Yanagi trademark was crossed scrolls in a circle on a fan (which you can see printed on a few surfaces behind her). To the right of her head in the background is a small painting of the Chrysanthemum Boy (Kikujido), a classical Chinese, hence elegant, subject of the time.

Down the left-hand side of the design is a poem printed in white against the faded background: Keuchi surunurude Ofuji no okami kana... "As they dye their teeth, with gallnut powder, does Ofuji slip them a glance?"
The poem contains a pun on the word okami, which can mean both "sideways glance" and "married woman" (who would of course blacken their teeth).


I purchased a woodblock print, produced from the original design in about 1914. I used this (which has excellent colors) to create the image for this larger reproduction. The original is less than 6" wide and is for sale if you are interested. Probably under $100 if you want to make an offer. Since I have already made a printing master image, I don't need the original anymore, so I can let it go for a bargain price.


More about the artist

Ippitsusai Bunchō (一筆齋文調) was active as an artist between 1755-1790. Like many ukiyo-e artists, his life is shrouded in mystery. His date of birth is unknown, but his real surname at birth was Mori. The year of his death is probably between 1790 and 1794.


About Real Japanese Woodblock Prints

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 木版畫 or "Moku Hanga". Most were produced during the Edo period (1603–1867). To put that in perspective, 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 浮世絵 (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.


About This Reproduction

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.

I use handmade kozo (mulberry) paper - the same kind of paper that Japanese woodblock print makers used centuries ago.
The pigment-based inks are archival and UV-resistant. In independent laboratory testing the giclée prints created with this ink should survive 95 years with no signs of fading, if not in direct sunlight (this will outlast hand-painted artwork under the same conditions). 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.

James Cowart and Canon Giclee Printer

A photographer that I admire, Jeremy Cowart, and his Canon imagePROGRAF printer.

For years I tried to find a printer that could handle handmade paper without wrinkling, jamming, or clogging print heads. I bought and tried several giclée printers valued at up to $15,000 each. They gave mixed results, I finally found the quality I was looking for in a brand-new Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000. This printer has 18,432 nozzles and 12 ink tanks. That's 12 ink tanks costing up to $294 each. With the price of the printer at $2,695 it was a total investment of more than $6,000 - which is not a price tag for the faint of heart.
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. Ready-to-frame prints can be delivered in a few days. However, it does take several weeks for custom wall scrolls. Either way, it's worth the wait if you want something really custom and unique.

This item was listed or modified
Jul 18th, 2022

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Typical Gallery Price: $130.00

Your Price: $59.88


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