Loading Spinner

Japanese Prints

Japanese prints, particularly Japanese woodblock prints, have been highly coveted works of art since their creation. They are beloved for their use of the whole spectrum of colors and extraordinary detail on paper made from the inner wood of a mulberry tree.

The creation of Japanese woodblock prints is intriguing in that it requires four people. One artist renders the design of the image, one engraver carves the image into wood, a printer uses the woodblocks to stamp each individual color to compose the image, and a publisher oversees the initial idea of the image and then markets it. While a print may have its own individual differences, once an image is carved into a woodblock, it can be printed thousands of times.

Many painters found inspiration in the innovative stylization and use of space within Japanese prints. They exhibited significant influence in Western Impressionist and Modern art.


Quick Facts

  • Despite the level of skill of all members of the printmaking process, it is usually only the publisher’s name that appears on the print
  • Each color of a Japanese print needs to be carved on a different block of wood. This process of carving and stamping the image with exact precision requires tremendous skill, time, and patience
  • Japanese prints have not always been coveted collector’s items. They were once commonplace items and often overlooked; Impressionist painter Claude Monet, for example, first encountered a Japanese print when it was being used as wrapping paper

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Yozo Hamaguchi "The Rabbit" Mezzotint
Jan 27, 12:00 PM EST
Yozo Hamaguchi "The Rabbit" Mezzotint
by Willow Auction House
Est: $200- $400
$4259 Bids
Vintage Japanese Artist Signed Woodblocks Prints
Jan 28, 5:00 PM EST
Vintage Japanese Artist Signed Woodblocks Prints
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$556 Bids
Kotozuka Eiichi Three Snowy Herons Print
Jan 27, 12:00 PM EST
Kotozuka Eiichi Three Snowy Herons Print
by Willow Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$1505 Bids
Folio of Hiroshige Modern Prints
Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST
Folio of Hiroshige Modern Prints
by Revere Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1205 Bids
Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883-1957) Spring Moon at Ninomiya Beach, 1932
Jan 26, 11:00 AM EST
Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883-1957) Spring Moon at Ninomiya Beach, 1932
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $500- $800
$4255 Bids
Japanese Woodblock Style Diptych
Jan 19, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Woodblock Style Diptych
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $100- $300
$605 Bids
Grp: 6 Hiroshi Yoshida Prints - Signed in Plate
Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST
Grp: 6 Hiroshi Yoshida Prints - Signed in Plate
by Revere Auctions
Est: $600- $1,200
$8004 Bids
Japanese Woodblock Print Assortment
Jan 23, 10:00 AM CST
Japanese Woodblock Print Assortment
by Leonard Auction
Est: $150- $250
$1504 Bids
Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883-1957) Snow at Senzokuike (Senzoku Pond)
Jan 26, 11:00 AM EST
Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883-1957) Snow at Senzokuike (Senzoku Pond)
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $500- $800
$3754 Bids
4 Paul Jacoulet Woodblocks, incl. Les Deux Adversaires, Coree
Jan 29, 9:00 AM EST
4 Paul Jacoulet Woodblocks, incl. Les Deux Adversaires, Coree
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$6003 Bids
Toshi Yoshida Woodblock Print Birds Winter
Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST
Toshi Yoshida Woodblock Print Birds Winter
by Revere Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$2203 Bids
Toshi Yoshida Woodblock Print "Plum Tree with Magpie"
Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST
Toshi Yoshida Woodblock Print "Plum Tree with Magpie"
by Revere Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$2203 Bids
Utagawa Yoshiku (Japanese, 1833-1904) Erotic Art Print
Jan 25, 12:00 PM EST
Utagawa Yoshiku (Japanese, 1833-1904) Erotic Art Print
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
$1202 Bids
Jun'ichiro Sekino (Japanese, 1914-1988) 'Yamatoji' Woodblock Print
Jan 23, 10:00 AM CST
Jun'ichiro Sekino (Japanese, 1914-1988) 'Yamatoji' Woodblock Print
by Leonard Auction
Est: $200- $300
$1502 Bids
3 woodblock prints (ukiyo-e),
Jan 20, 10:00 AM CET
3 woodblock prints (ukiyo-e),
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1202 Bids
Grp: 2 Japanese Ukiyo-e Triptychs
Jan 27, 10:00 AM CST
Grp: 2 Japanese Ukiyo-e Triptychs
by Revere Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
TWO WOODBLOCK PRINTS
Jan 28, 10:00 AM CET
TWO WOODBLOCK PRINTS
by Galerie Zacke Vienna
Est: €200- €400
€2001 Bid
Five Framed Japanese Woodblock Prints
Jan 23, 11:00 AM EST
Five Framed Japanese Woodblock Prints
by Amero Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Prints


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Willow Auction House

Willow Auction House

Galerie Zacke Vienna

Galerie Zacke Vienna