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Demonstrations / デモンストレーション

On April 6 from 13:00 to 16:00 in the Foyer of Imadate Art Center, Mr. Shoichi Kitamura will demonstrate how to divide a design into color blocks and Ms. Kyoko Hirai will demonstrate printing.


Shoichi Kitamura, professional carver
Kitamura Woodblock Studio

After graduating from Kyoto Seika University with a major in woodblock printmaking (mokuhanga), Shoichi Kitamura entered the world of traditional mokuhanga at the publisher “Matsukyu”. Afterwards, he learned carving from Osamu Hotta at the mokuhanga artist Masao Ido’s studio “Kan’eido.’

After graduating from university, Kitamura studied woodblock printing under Akira Kurosaki for about 25 years and also provided support for his production.

He established the Kitamura Woodblock Studio in 2000. Since then, workshops have been held at the studio for those who wish to learn mokuhanga under Kitamura’s instruction.

In order to collaborate with overseas artists, Kitamura travels to their studios abroad and holds workshops and demonstrations there.

In this workshop, he will demonstrate how to divide the design into some blocks (irowake).

  1. Key-block method (omohan-ho) in traditional yukiyo-e;
  2. Decomposition method (bunkai-ho) used for works where the image does not have a main outline.

He will explain how to match the registration etc.

彫師 北村昇一








  1. 伝統的な浮世絵方式の主版法の摺り返しのとり方と貼り込み方。
  2. イメージに主たるアウトラインの無い作品の場合に使う分解法。


Kyoko Hirai, Professional Printer

  • 1998, after graduating from the Faculty of Fine Art, Kyoto Seika University, majoring in printmaking, Hirai started working under Mr. Keizo Sato, a professional printer at Sato Woodblock Print Studio, Kyoto, and learned traditional woodblock printing techniques. 
  • Since 2011, she has given demonstrations and workshops at universities and museums in Thailand, the United States, Russia, and other countries as part of a project of the Japan Foundation. 
  • 2014, she received the title of Kyoto Certified Craftsperson in the genre of Kyo-hanga (Kyoto printmaking).
  • 2015, she participated in IMPACT 9, International Print Conference (China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, China).
  • 2016, she gave lectures, demonstrations, and workshops on ukiyo-e at Hong Kong Open Print Shop (Hong Kong, China).
  • 2017, she demonstrated traditional woodblock printing techniques at the Third International Mokuhanga Conference (University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA).

Currently, Hirai is a director of the Kyoto branch of the Ukiyo-e Mokuhanga Techniques Preservation Association, a technique preservation organization selected by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and works as a part-time lecturer for Kyoto Seika University.

Carving with a chisel and printing on paper – the techniques of woodblock printmaking – began as a black and white printing method, then brightly colored ukiyo-e appeared in the Edo period. Even though the environment has changed over time, the techniques have remained unchanged. Woodblock printing, completed through several processes using a variety of materials, is a complex craft. The diversity of expression allows creation of artworks, which I find fascinating and profound. I would like to preserve and pass on the crystallization of techniques to the next generation and not leave it a thing of the past, but to connect it to many people.

— Kyoko Hirai


•Toshusai Sharaku Genzo Ishii played by Mitsugoro Bando II

• Ukiyo-e, which appeared in the Edo period, strongly reflects the trends of that era and the lives of people at the time. Among the works of Toshusai Sharaku, who became a world-renowned artist with only a few years of success, his okubi-e (large portraits), which mainly depicted faces of Kabuki actors, incorporate several kinds of printing effects, such as atenashi bokashi, karazuri, as well as the characteristic kira-zuri (mica printing). 

• There are three kinds of kira-zuri: oki-kira (applying mica on the surface), suri-kira (printing with mica), and maki-kira (sprinkling mica).

  1. For oki-kira, mix glue and mica, boil it, and apply it directly onto the background with a brush.
  2. For suri-kira, put some mica directly into the paint and print.
  3. For maki-kira, after printing the background color, print with glue or gum arabic using the same woodblock, then sprinkle mica over the glued background. I will use the maki-kira technique for this demonstration.

• We can compare this print with the work of Hiroshige Utagawa from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, for which suri-kira technique was used.

平井恭子 摺師

  • 京都精華大学美術学部版画専攻卒業後、1998年に佐藤木版画工房摺師の佐藤景三氏に師事、伝統的な木版画の摺りの技術を学ぶ。
  • 2011年から国際交流基金主催事業でタイ、アメリカ、ロシアなどの大学や美術館で実演、ワークショップ講師を務める。
  • 2014年、京もの認定工芸士(京版画)の称号を取得。
  • 2015年第9回国際版画会議(中国、中国美術学院)、
  • 2016年 Hong Kong Open Print Shop(中国、香港)で浮世絵のレクチャー、実演、ワークショップを行う。
  • 2017年第3回国際木版画会議(アメリカ、ハワイ大学)にて伝統的な木版画の技術を実演。



— 平井恭子 


1794 – Sharaku – Actor Bando Mitsugoro II as Ishii Genzo