Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


The work of modern woodblock prints
in prewar and Ukiyo-e
-“The dispute of modern woodblock prints”
in Ukiyo-e studies magazine


(The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, School of Cultural and Social Studies,
Department of Japanese Studies

Key words:

Shin-Hanga, Sosaku-Hanga, “Ukiyo-e Geijutsu” (Ukiyo-e Art), Ukiyo-e, “The dispute of modern woodblock prints”, Tradition, Muneshige NARAZAKI

This paper takes up “The dispute of modern woodblock prints” which were kept insisting by sosaku-hanga artists and shin-hanga artists in Ukiyo-e studies magazine “Ukiyo-e Geijutsu” (Ukiyo-e Art). Sosaku-hanga (Creative print) artists were self-carved, self-printed, and self-published artists and Shin-hanga (New Print, or, better Traditional Print) artists were belonged to the traditional, collaborative and publisher system. Previously “The dispute of modern woodblock prints” was thought to the states which were bogged down between both print artists. This paper’s aim is to arrange “The dispute of modern woodblock prints” and make its essence clear.

First, from all the tables of contents of “Ukiyo-e Geijutsu”, I extracted the essay and the report about the modern woodblock prints, and clarified whole the dispute and its progress. And I found the managing leader of this dispute, which is Muneshige NARAZAKI, who is the leading expert of ukiyo-e studies also in postwar period. NARAZAKI tried to bear the new perfect prints by progressing Ukiyo-e studies and discussing among the artists in different policies and ways.

So, I think it is most important problem to analyze the each print artist’s aim from the dispute, and get it was how related with ukiyo-e in Edo era. In viewpoint of each woodblock artist, could be found out the feeling of rebounding, the object of research, and its origin toward ukiyo-e. And further from the shin-hanga artist’s, I could get their thought of the preserving the continuity of ukiyo-e systems. In addition, Shin-hanga made success in foreign market, because these were thought to the “revival of ukiyo-e” prints.

Furthermore, the new print image which the modern print artists have held was made clear, and the subject of Shin-hanga’s studies is drawn.