Traditional Craft men & women in Taito city

Edo Moku-Hanga [ Woodblock Prints ]

Nagao Yuuji

Edo woodprints are divided into three roles:The "Painter" who depicts the sketches, the "Sculptor" who carves the underlying painting onto a log, and the "Printer" who rubs the picture on paper with the woodblock prints.

Yuji Nagao of the Edo woodblock printmaker is the third generation of Nagao printmakers with his brother Jiroro. The Nagao printmakers were originally specialized in printing, but since the engraver they worked with, went into retirement from working,Jiro’s younger brother entered as a sculptor, so now Jiro is in charge of carving, while Yuji makes prints.
In the process of Painting, first place the paint on the log and spread it over whole with a brush. Next, put the paper so that it will not be displaced according to the marks attached to the log. After, press the paint firmly on the paper using a tool called the Maka. By repeating this work with light colors of various colors about 15 to 20 times in order of light color to dark color, a beautiful print with many colors overlapping is completed.
“The woodcut prints in Kyoto are characterized by thinning the Edo-wood prints, while the paint boilings, and rub thinly has many technological difficulties, but the transparency born by that is oneself,” Yuji speaks. It is said that it will take ten years to become a full-fledged craftman for Ukiyo-e to come to into print.
The paper used for the Edo wood prints is Iyo paper, Echizen paper, etc. The former is used for a thousand souvenirs stamped as a memorial to visit shrines and temples, the latter is used for ukiyo-e etc. However, the number of craft workers who make such paper is decreasing In addition, the number of Edo wood print makers themselves is also on a downward trend, the rarity of the work is increasing more and more.

short version(1min30sec.)

long version
If you would like to know more about the craft history, manufacturing process, tools, etc., please check this movie.(6min54sec.)

Nagao Hangasho
1-1-1 Motoasakusa, Taitō-ku
Regular holiday:No scheduled holidays
※For inquiries Japanese only