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IMA February 2024 Newsletter


Happy Year of the Dragon, time is flying and preparations are well underway for the the Fifth International Mokuhanga Conference, Inheritance and Innovation: Mokuhanga Artists Explore Japanese Paper, April 4-6, 2024, in Echizen, Japan.


Additional spaces on “Bus-C” for the paper-mill tours have been made available, please check the Craft Village Tour page. 

One-day conference passes are still available – there are also occasional cancellations so workshop spaces are freed up – contact Keiko Kobayashi to add yourself to the waiting list or keep a sharp eye on the Registration page to catch the moment space becomes available.

Reserved conference hotel rooms are full but you can still make hotel reservations yourself online through booking sites such as Agoda. Don’t worry, even without participating in the workshops, there will be plenty to do during this busy conference. 

Exhibitions (April 4-6)

There will be eight exhibitions at the conference. The main International Juried Exhibition, with 140 artists, will be at the Echizen City Imadate Art Museum (view prints online). At the same location will be a show of work by the late Vice Chair Ralph Kiggell, who was so essential to the success of the 2021 Fourth International Mokuhanga Conference, Nara. Additional exhibitions include a Mokuhanga Sisters Exhibition, a Board Members Exhibition, a MI-LAB Collection Exhibition, a Macau Print Association Exhibition and two solo exhibitions of work by Terry McKenna and by Katsutoshi Yuasa (map and exhibition locations).

Opening Banquet (Thursday, April 4, 6:00pm)

A welcome banquet will be held buffet style on the first day of the conference. 

Keynote and Presentations (Friday, April 5, 9:00-12:00)

Friday morning at the Imadate Art Center Hall, Peter MacMillan, prize-winning translator, scholar, poet, and artist will give the keynote address followed by presentations by three overseas papermakers. 

Open Portfolio (April 6, 9:00-12:00)

Saturday morning, Open Portfolio will be held in the foyer of Imadate Art Center, table-top space will be provided to display woodblock prints by participants, registration and fee required:  

Demonstrations (April 6, 13:00-16:00)

Saturday afternoon demonstrations will be presented by master carver Shoichi Kitamura and master printer Kyoko Hirai, also in the foyer of Imadate Art Center.

Product Showcase (April 4, 5, 6) 

Each day of the conference at Ai-Park Imadate fifteen local paper manufacturers will present more than fifty types of handmade and machine made Japanese paper and will offer a sample book for participants. The website has been updated with times and a list of paper suppliers and tool makers along with informational videos. The test printing workshops will provide an opportunity to try papers and to exchange ideas with these manufacturers. 

Nara Tour (Apri 7-8)

The hotel for the Nara Tour to visit sumi makers is full. However, if you wish to make your own hotel arrangements, there are a few additional seats on the bus that can be reserved by contacting Keiko Kobayashi. April 7 a direct bus will run from Echizen to Nara. On April 8 we will break into two groups to visit the sumi makers Kobaien and Boku-undo. The fee covers bus transportation from Echizen to Nara April 7 (leaves Echizen at 10:00 and arrives in Nara at 15:00), one night hotel accommodation in Nara (breakfast included), excursion to sumi makers and interpreter services.

Fukui Tour (April 7, 9:00-15:00)

This is a free alternative to the Nara Tour. The Echizen City Administration is offering a bus tour to visit sightseeing attractions in Fukui Prefecture like Eiheiji Temple. This tour is free of charge, but registration is required.


The International Mokuhanga Conference was conceived by Keiko Kadota in 2011 as a triennial conference about creative mokuhanga. Her vision has been maintained by Director Yasuyuki Sato. Keiko Kobayashi is Project Coordinator for this conference, as well as the Mi-Lab training program. International Board members for the Fifth IMC are Mara Cozzolino (Italy), Jacqueline Gribbin (Australia), Mike Lyon (USA), Yoonmi Nam (USA), Florence Neal (USA), Katsu Yuasa (Japan), April Vollmer (USA). A full list of staff, advisory, and past board members is on the website


A new express JR train to Echizen-Takefu Station from Tokyo is scheduled to open March 15, we will send the schedule when it becomes available. 

The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, USA, is being considered as the venue for The Sixth International Mokuhanga Conference in 2027. We will keep you updated as plans evolve.

Looking forward to seeing you in Echizen.