Mokuhanga Masterclass - An introduction to Japanese Woodblock Printing

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22 Euro - Please register on our website before Wednesday, April 18 at 23:59:


Mokuhanga is a Japanese term used to refer to woodblock prints; moku meaning wood, and hanga to describe the concept of a printed picture. Mokuhanga prints are characterized by the use of rich polychrome colors. The inks used to achieve such colors are water based and completely non-toxic. It requires only basic tools that can be assembled at home without a workshop.

The practice of mokuhanga flourished in Japan during the 17th and 18th century, and was used to produce the Ukiyo-e masterpieces of renowned artists such as Hiroshige. Ukiyo-e, translated as “pictures of the floating world”, describes a genre of images celebrating the pleasurable aspects of life. Ukiyo-e pictures were designed to appeal to townspeople in Japan’s big cities, and subject matter included Kabuki theater, romantic vistas, courtesans, actors, and other popular scenes.

In this primer to your personal woodblock journey, Temple Japan Professor Louise Rouse will present a short historical overview of the tradition of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock printing. This will be followed by a portfolio presentation of original woodcut prints from Motoharu Asaka’s personal collection. The final event of the evening will be a live printing demonstration by Mr. Asaka of his interpretation of Hokusai’s “Great Wave”.

About the Instructor

Motoharu Asaka

Motaharu Asaka is a master of Ukiyo-e wood-carving, a tradition that stretches back over 400 years!

In high school Asaka studied under the Ukiyo-e publisher Tadao Takamisawa.
This connection led him to one of the foremost carver’s workshops in Japan, in Kyoto under Kojiro Kikuta. He spent 17 years training as an apprentice there until his level of carving skill reached the highest level—around 0.3mm lines that are needed for carving the hairline in a traditional Ukiyo-e portrait print.

After 17 years in Kyoto, Asaka returned to Tokyo. He has been commissioned for work spanning many genres of visual art. Beginning with painstaking hand carved and printed reproductions of Ukiyo-e, he has since collaborated with contemporary artists such as Masami Teraoka, Moira Hahn, Takeshi Kitano, among others.

Louise Rouse

Louise Rouse is an adjunct professor for printmaking at Temple University, Japan, where she has taught relief printmaking including Japanese woodblock in the undergraduate art program since 2013.

Louise studied illustration in Bristol and Tokyo, and has continued to work as an illustrator, printmaker and book artist since graduating with an MFA from Tama Art University in 2011.

Her work can be found at

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