self-printed (sōsaku hanga - 創作版画) (genre )



"...Sōsaku hanga (creative prints), artists under the sway of western ideas of artistic autonomy and spontaneous creation professed—and sometimes actually realized—the ideals of crafting self-designed, self-carved, and self-printed images."

Color Woodcut International: Japan, Britain, and America in the Early Twentieth Century, essay by Kendall Brown, p. 13.


"The beginning of the sosaku hanga movement is generally dated to around 1904 when Yamamoto Kanae's small experimental woodblock print, Fisherman, was included in the July issue of the literary and art magazine Myojo (Morning star...). Yamamoto's work was described as having an essentially different carving technique that did not use a final preparatory drawing (hanshita-e) and a keyblock to define the image contours. Instead, he used the chisel to carve directly into the block, creating contourless shapes in relief. The freer handling of the carving tool resulted in what Myojo contributor Hakutei labelled a toga ('knife picture'). In her essay Mikiko Hirayama discusses Hakutei's instrumental role in sosaku hanga and his involvement in art and literary magazines, most notably Hosun (Square inch)."

Quoted from: 'Waves of Renewal, Modern Japanese Prints 1900-60: Selections from the Nihon no Hanga Collection, Amsterdam'.