Art & Design

Japanese Woodblock Printing : A Craft of Precision

25 May - 16 July 2017, London

Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo period (1615-1868) are world famous for their beautiful colours and fine detail. This special exhibit focuses on the workshops of the master block cutter and master printer to reveal the craftsmanship that went into making these remarkable prints.

A Modern-day Match-up with the Four Estates:  Artisans
Imayô mitate shi-nô-kô-shô:  Shokunin (今様見立士農工商 職人)
Colour woodblock print triptych (1857)
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III; 1786-1864)
© British Museum

The exhibit features a print triptych by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864) that demonstrates the basic stages of traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking. Also on display will be a rare brush drawing that Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) prepared for a print, a beautiful example of the print “Shôno” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) from the series Fifty-three Stations along the Tôkaidô, and a selection of printmaking tools. The exhibit will interest anyone curious to learn more about Japan, Japanese prints or woodblock printmaking.

Three gallery talks are planned: 30 March, 25 April and 17 May. Please check the British Museum’s ‘What’s on’ webpage and events calendar to confirm scheduling and details:
25 May - 16 July 2017,

Room 3 (The Asahi Shimbun Display), British Museum, London WC1B 3DG

Tel: 020 7323 8000


British Museum