Sosuku-hanga is a Japanese creative printmaking technique. It was developed in the Edo period (1603-1868), and its name comes from the Japanese word sosuku, which means “to print with relief.”

In this technique, a woodblock is carved with an image and then covered in ink before being pressed onto paper.

The process of carving out spaces for ink to fill creates a raised effect on the surface of the print that resembles embossing or etching.

However, unlike these other methods of printing where lines are cut into metal plates or stones respectively, Sosuku-hanga uses only woodblocks made from one piece of wood.

The Process of Sosuku-hanga

Sosuku-hanga is a traditional method of printmaking in Japan, which dates back to the 17th century. It involves carving an image into a block and then printing it using woodblocks.

The process starts with creating an original drawing on paper or cloth called “sumi.

” The artist then carves this design into a block of wood using tools such as chisels and gouges to create the desired effect in relief.

Next comes printing onto paper with ink rubbed into grooves carved into the surface of the woodblock by hand (or sometimes mechanically).

Notable Sosuku-hanga Artists

Sosuku-hanga artists are among the most celebrated in Japanese art history.

Some of the most notable include:

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), who created “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” and other works that helped establish ukiyo-e as a genre of woodblock prints.

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), who produced over 100 prints during his lifetime, including “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road” series depicting landscapes along Japan’s main highway from Edo (present-day Tokyo) to Kyoto during wintertime;

it remains one of his best known works today.

Kawase Hasui (1883 – 1957), whose landscapes were inspired by traditional Japanese paintings but rendered using Western techniques such as perspective and shading; he also designed sets for kabuki theater productions while working at Tokyo Imperial University.

Popular Sosuku-hanga Prints

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1830) by Hokusai is a famous example of sosuku-hanga.

It depicts a large wave about to crash into three boats, and it’s one of the most iconic images in Japanese art history.

The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1797) is another famous series by Katsushika Hokusai, who created this set of prints when he was 70 years old!

This series shows different views from various locations around Mount Fuji–it’s an excellent example of how artists could use woodblock printing techniques to depict landscapes in a new way.

Modern Sosuku-hanga Art

The contemporary Sosuku-hanga artists have been inspired by the traditional methods of printmaking and have developed their own unique styles.

Some examples of modern Sosuku-hanga prints are:

The use of modern materials such as acrylic paints and oil pastels to create prints that are vibrant in color, but still retain an impressionistic feel.

Combining traditional techniques with new methods such as collage or digital printing.

Collecting Sosuku-hanga Prints

If you’re interested in collecting Sosuku-hanga prints, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Where to find prints?

You can purchase them from online auction sites like eBay and Yahoo Japan Auctions.

You may also find them at antique stores or flea markets.

If you’re lucky enough to live near an Asian art museum or gallery, they might have some on display as well!

What to look for?

When buying a print, make sure that it has been signed by the artist (or at least stamped with their seal).

This will ensure that your piece is authentic and not just an imitation made by someone else trying their hand at copying another artist’s work without permission.

Another thing worth noting is whether or not the paper used was handmade;

this will give insight into how much effort went into making each individual piece and could affect its value later down the road!

Caring For Sosuku-hanga Prints

Sosuku-hanga prints are delicate and should be stored and displayed with care.

The following steps will help you protect your prints from damage:

Store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Avoid touching the surface of the print with your fingers, as this can cause stains or smudges that are difficult to remove later on.

If you must handle it, do so by grasping only its edges;

if possible use gloves made of cotton fabric (not rubber) when handling any type of art work including sosuku hanga prints!

Do not hang sosukuhanga prints over windows where they will receive direct sunlight through glass panes, this could cause fading over time due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation which destroys pigments used in making these kinds of works.”

The Influence of Sosuku-hanga

Sosuku-hanga has had a huge influence on other forms of art.

It is one of the most important influences on modern design and popular culture.


For example, many artists have been inspired by sosuku-hanga prints to create their own versions or interpretations of them.

The work of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is very well known today because it was so influential in spreading Japanese art throughout Europe during the Meiji period (1868-1912).

Sosaku-hanga – Wrapping Up

Sosuku-hanga is a style of printing that was developed in Japan during the 19th century.

It’s characterized by its use of bold colors and strong lines, which make it perfect for illustrating traditional Japanese themes.

The impact of Sosuku-hanga on modern art can’t be overstated: many famous artists were inspired by this movement, including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

In fact, some scholars believe that Picasso even studied under one of its founders!

While there’s no doubt that these prints will continue to influence future generations’ work (and maybe even yours!),

there are still plenty out there to appreciate today–so don’t miss out on this opportunity!