Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Unfinished Print

Jan 31, 2023

The spirit of mokuhanga can be found throughout the world. You may find mokuhanga anywhere, in one place, yet pursue it in another. On this episode I speak with long time mokuhanga printmaker David Stones. David has lived and worked in Japan for over forty years, all in the rural area around Okazaki City, in Aichi Prefecture. David has dedicated his life to making mokuhanga in Japan.

I speak with David about how he found his way to Japan from England, and how he began working with and studying under famous sōsaku hanga printmaker Tomikichirō Tokuriki (1902-2000) in Kyoto. We discuss what it's like to live and work in a rural part of Japan, how documenting a Japanese historical past affects his work and talk about his relationship with nature. 

Please follow The Unfinished Print and my own mokuhanga work on Instagram @andrezadoroznyprints or email me at 

Notes: may contain a hyperlink. Simply click on the highlighted word or phrase.

Artists works follow after the note. Pieces are mokuhanga unless otherwise noted.

David Stones  - website, video produced by Satomi Okane, here

Tiles Oshibuchi (date unknown)

Trans Siberian Railway - is a rail line that services Russian cities from Moscow to Vladisvostok. It is 9,289 km long. It has been in service since 1904. More information can be found, here. 

letterpress - is a type of relief printing by using a printing press. It was popular during Industrialization and the modernity of the West. By the mid twentieth century, letterpress began to become more of an art form, with artists using the medium for books, stationary, and greeting cards.

Tomikichirō Tokuriki (1902-2000) - was a Kyoto based mokuhanga printmaker and teacher. His work touched on many themes and styles. From “creative prints” or sōsaku hanga in Japanese, and his publisher/printer prints, or shin hanga prints of traditional Japanese landscapes. 

Hamaotsu (date unknown)

Wood Block Print Primer -  is a book first published by Hoikusha Publishers in the late 1960’s in soft cover and, strangely, published in 1970 in hardcover by Japan Publications Inc. If anybody has more information on this book, send me an email.

deshi (弟子) - is the Japanese word for pupil, or student.

Studying in Japan - going to Japan to study your field, your art, or your interests can be a complicated process. You can go and take short term courses and workshops without a special visa in Japan, but if you are looking for a long term option to study, I suggest checking out University websites, artist in residence programs etc in your chosen field as all will have their own application processes. 

shukubo (宿坊) - is a dormitory, or hostel, in a Buddhist temple in Japan. You can find some of those “temple-stays” in Kyoto, here.

Okazaki, Aichi - is a relatively large city of around 300,000 people. It is about 45 minutes outside of Nagoya City. It is known for its seasonal activities, reconstructed castle, Tokugawa history, and food. More info can be found, here

Richard Steiner - is a mokuhanga printmaker based in Kyoto, Japan. He has been producing mokuhanga for over 50 years. More information about his work can be found on his website, here. And his interview with The Unfinished Print, can be found here.

David Bull - is a Canadian woodblock printmaker, and educator who lives and works in Japan. His love of mokuhanga has almost singlehandedly promoted the art form around the world. His company, Mokuhankan, has a brick and mortar store in Asakusa, Tōkyō, and online, here
The River In Winter - From "My Solitudes" series (2007-9)

oban - is a print size in mokuhanga. The standard size is, generally speaking, 39 x 26.5 cm. The Japanese Gallery in London has a solid list on the variants of mokuhanga print sizing, here. 

gomazuri - is a mokuhanga technique where slight pressure is used with pigments too make a “spotty” image, what look like sesame seeds. It can add depth to your prints. An excellent description of this technique can be found at David Bull's, which posted Hiroshi Yoshida's entire book 'Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking' (1939), here

Woodblock Diary - is a book self published by David Stones, and can be found on his website.

Tōkyō Tower - is a communications tower located in the Minato district of Tōkyō, Japan. It was built in 1958 and, before the construction of Tōkyō Skytree to compete, was one of the few views of Tōkyō open to the public. For many, including me, it is a nostalgic piece of Tōkyō architecture with a lot of affinity.  More info can be found, here.

Chubu Electric Power Mirai Tower -  is a communications tower locasted in the Japanese city of Nagoya. It was constructed in 1954 making it the oldest communications tower in Japan. More info, in Japanese, can be found, here.

Taishō Period  (1912-1926) - a short lived period of Japanese modern history but an important one in world history. This is where the militarism of fascist Japan began to take seed, leading to The Pacific War (1931-1945). More info can be found, here.

Nagoya City and District Courthouse  - built in 1922, this courthouse was designated an Important Cultural Property in 1984. More information can be found here at Japan Travel, about the history of the courthouse.

Preservation of Historic Sites and Buildings - is a Parliamentary recognition in England which attempts to preserve historical buildings through various charitable organizations. English Heritage, established as a charity in 2015 preserves designated historic buildings and properties in England. And The National Trust, founded in 1895 is an independent charity which does the same as EH. 

Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) - a watercolorist, oil painter, and woodblock printmaker. Is associated with the resurgence of the woodblock print in Japan, and in the West. It was his early relationship with Watanabe Shōzaburō, having his first seven prints printed by the Shōzaburō atelier. This experience made Hiroshi believe that he could hire his own carvers and printers and produce woodblock prints, which he did in 1925. 

The Cave Temple at Anjata (1931)

urushi  - is a type of lacquer used  in Japanese lacquerware for hundreds of years especially in maki-e lacquer decoration. A very good blog posting by Woodspirit Handcraft has great information about urushi, here.

Echizen - is a region in Fukui Prefecture, Japan associated with Japanese paper making. It has a long history of paper making. There are many paper artisans in the area. One famous paper maker is Iwano Ichibei. He is a Living National Treasure in paper making, and the ninth generation of his family still making paper today. More info can be found here in English, and here in Japanese

Satomi Okane - is a filmmaker,  director of video production for her production company, Penny Black Productions. She has worked on various videos dealing with the preservation of nature, and culture in Satoyama. Her work can be found at her Torikono Sekai website, here, and her YouTube channel, here.

Lynita Shimizu - is a mokuhanga printmaker based in Connecticut. She studied under Tomikichirō Tokuriki, and Yoshisuke Funasaka. Her work is colourful and powerful, dealing with nature. More info can be found, here, on her website. Her interview with The Unfinished Print, can be found, here

kura (蔵) - is a Japanese storehouse 

© Popular Wheat Productions

opening and closing musical credit - Fugazi - Stacks. From the album, Steady Diet of Nothing. (Discord, 1991)

logo designed and produced by Douglas Batchelor and André Zadorozny 

Disclaimer: Please do not reproduce or use anything from this podcast without shooting me an email and getting my express written or verbal consent. I'm friendly :)

Слава Україну

If you find any issue with something in the show notes please let me know.

***The opinions expressed by guests in The Unfinished Print podcast are not necessarily those of André Zadorozny and of Popular Wheat Productions.***