Further Reading

To view a listing of objects without the introductory text, click here.

T. Tokuno, “Japanese wood-cutting and wood-cut printing,” S.R. Koehler, ed., in Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Annual Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1892. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1893), pp. 221-244. Smithsonian annual reports are available at many large libraries, and they can be accessed online through the Biodiversity Heritage Library project. The Tokuno report as edited by Koehler also was published as a separate pamphlet in 1894, and that edition is available online at Google Books, although the copy as digitized is missing some of the illustrations.

Almost a century later, former Smithsonian Graphic Arts curator Peter Morse published an updated version of the Tokuno text, "Tokuno's Description of Japanese Printmaking," with additional notes and annotations, in Essays on Japanese art presented to Jack Hillier, Matthi Forrer ed. (London : R.G. Sawers Pub., 1982).

The full text of the edited report is also available online, part of a very comprehensive website developed by David Bull who has added notes informed by his extensive knowledge of the process.

Ann Yonemura, curator at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Museums of Asian art, prepared an exhibition that included some of the NMAH Tokuno objects. The accompanying catalogue, Yokohama: Prints from nineteenth-century Japan, was published by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 1990.

The Smart Museum exhibition catalogue discusses a range of developments in color printing in France and Japan from the 18th through the early 20th centuries in the context of their interactions and further developments in China and Europe.Awash in Color: French and Japanese Prints, by Chelsea Foxwell and Anne Leonard, with contributions by David Acton, Laura Kalba, Andreas Marks, Andrew Stevens, Stephanie Su, and David Waterhouse. (Chicago: Smart Museum of the University of Chicago, 2012).

Another portion of the gift included several bound collections of prints, which now are housed in the Library of the Freer-Sackler Gallery. Some of them have been digitized, including ten volumes in Itsukushima zue, four volumes in Kōkōkan gashō and the two-volume Shūbi gakan. We are most grateful to Alessandro Bianchi, The Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Freer Sackler Gallery, for his assistance in identifying and locating these volumes.

 

Watercolor drawing depicting the activities of the block cutter for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. I". One of a series of drawings received about 1890 that later were used to model manikins and lay out the Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques.
Description
Watercolor drawing depicting the activities of the block cutter for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. I". One of a series of drawings received about 1890 that later were used to model manikins and lay out the Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques. Published in Tokuno essay on Japanese woodcutting and wood-cut printing, edited by S. R. Koehler for SI Annual Report for 1892.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca1888-89
ID Number
GA.03209.01
accession number
22582
catalog number
03209.01
Watercolor drawing depicting the tools of the block cutter for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. II" with 25 numbered drawings of tools. The tools are catalogued as GA*03210.01-.25.
Description
Watercolor drawing depicting the tools of the block cutter for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. II" with 25 numbered drawings of tools. The tools are catalogued as GA*03210.01-.25. This drawing was published in Tokuno essay on Japanese woodcutting and wood-cut printing, edited by S. R. Koehler for SI Annual Report for 1892. One of a series of drawings received about 1890 that later were used to lay out the Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1888-89
ID Number
GA.03209.02
accession number
22582
catalog number
03209.02
Watercolor drawing depicting the activities of the block printer for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. III" . Published in Tokuno essay on Japanese woodcutting and wood-cut printing, edited by S. R. Koehler for SI Annual Report for 1892.
Description
Watercolor drawing depicting the activities of the block printer for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. III" . Published in Tokuno essay on Japanese woodcutting and wood-cut printing, edited by S. R. Koehler for SI Annual Report for 1892. One of a series of drawings received about 1890 that later were used to model manikins and lay out the Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques. Printer shown seated with his furniture and tools.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1888-89
ID Number
GA.03209.03
accession number
22582
catalog number
03209.03
Watercolor drawing depicting the tools of the block printer for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. IV" with 17 numbered drawings of tools and furniture which are catalogued as GA*03211.01-.17.
Description
Watercolor drawing depicting the tools of the block printer for Japanese printmaking. Identified as "Fig. IV" with 17 numbered drawings of tools and furniture which are catalogued as GA*03211.01-.17. This drawing was published in Tokuno essay on Japanese woodcutting and wood-cut printing, edited by S. R. Koehler for SI Annual Report for 1892. One of a series of drawings received about 1890 that later were used to lay out the Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1888-89
ID Number
GA.03209.04
accession number
22582
catalog number
03209.04
Straightedge, steel, for cutting straight lines and for fixing registration marks on the blocks used in color printing. Woodblock-cutter's tool used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Straightedge, steel, for cutting straight lines and for fixing registration marks on the blocks used in color printing. Woodblock-cutter's tool used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 1 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter. Old paper label "No. 1"
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.01
accession number
22582
catalog number
3210.01
Wooden brush used for removing wood shavings during block cutting for Japanese printmaking. Bristles held in place by diagonal stitches. Fragment of paper label on handle.
Description
Wooden brush used for removing wood shavings during block cutting for Japanese printmaking. Bristles held in place by diagonal stitches. Fragment of paper label on handle. Woodblock-cutter's tool used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 2 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.02
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.02
Wooden handle for engraver's knife for cutting design in woodblock. Round, tapered, wooden handle only; cutting blade missing. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden handle for engraver's knife for cutting design in woodblock. Round, tapered, wooden handle only; cutting blade missing. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 3 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.03
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.03
Wooden handle with V-shaped chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden handle with V-shaped chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 4 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.04
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.04
Wooden handle with U-shaped chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden handle with U-shaped chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 5 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.05
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.05
Wooden handle with metal blade, flat, narrow chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s.
Description
Wooden handle with metal blade, flat, narrow chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 8 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.08
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.08
Wooden handle with tapered metal point, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden handle with tapered metal point, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 9 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.09
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.09
Wooden handle with metal blade beveled on one side, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s.
Description
Wooden handle with metal blade beveled on one side, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 10 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter. Residue of paper label with Japanese writing.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.10
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.10
Wooden handle with sharp metal point, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden handle with sharp metal point, chisel for removing small bits of wood between the lines of the design of a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 11 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.11
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.11
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s.
Description
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 13 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.13
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.13
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s.
Description
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 14 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.14
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.14
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Back of blade is beveled. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock.
Description
Wooden handle with metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. Back of blade is beveled. Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 15 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.15
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.15
Wooden handle with semi-circular metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. (Ferrule is missing) Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock.
Description
Wooden handle with semi-circular metal blade held in place by metal ferrule at base. (Ferrule is missing) Chisel for removing wood between the lines of the design in a woodblock. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 17 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.17
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.17
Squarish block of dark stone used for leveling the surface of another stone (GA*03210.20) used to sharpen knives and chisels. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Squarish block of dark stone used for leveling the surface of another stone (GA*03210.20) used to sharpen knives and chisels. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 19 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
ID Number
GA.03210.19
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.19
Rectangle of light stone mounted on wooden rest. Used for smoothing the rough edges of knives and chisels after they have been sharpened on grind stone GA*03210.21.
Description
Rectangle of light stone mounted on wooden rest. Used for smoothing the rough edges of knives and chisels after they have been sharpened on grind stone GA*03210.21. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 20 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.20
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.20
Wooden mallet used to drive chisel into wood block to cut design for Japanese printmaking. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden mallet used to drive chisel into wood block to cut design for Japanese printmaking. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 24 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.24
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.24
Wooden mallet used to drive chisel into wood block to cut design for Japanese printmaking. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden mallet used to drive chisel into wood block to cut design for Japanese printmaking. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 25 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.25
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.25
Rectangle of light stone with slightly rough edgest. Used for sharpening knives and chisels. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Rectangle of light stone with slightly rough edgest. Used for sharpening knives and chisels. One of a group of woodblock-cutter's tools used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 21 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.Stone 21 was used for the first or rough stage of sharpening the tools according to Peter Morse's 1982 essay on Tokuno's description of Japanese woodcut technique edited by S. R. Koehler and published in the SI Annual Report for 1892.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.21
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.21
Wooden brush with very small bristles at one end. Used to brush sesame oil onto the block before cutting in Japanese printmaking. Woodblock-cutter's tool used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No.
Description
Wooden brush with very small bristles at one end. Used to brush sesame oil onto the block before cutting in Japanese printmaking. Woodblock-cutter's tool used in Graphic Arts exhibit of Japanese printmaking techniques from about 1890 to 1990s. Identified as No. 23 in watercolor drawing GA 03209.02 showing the tools of the block cutter.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03210.23
accession number
22582
catalog number
03210.23
Two-drawer wooden unit for holding printer's tools such as colors and color dishes for Japanese printmaking. The unit can be stored in the larger wooden unit GA.03211.01. See illustrations GA.03209.03-.04. Set of two.Currently not on view
Description
Two-drawer wooden unit for holding printer's tools such as colors and color dishes for Japanese printmaking. The unit can be stored in the larger wooden unit GA.03211.01. See illustrations GA.03209.03-.04. Set of two.
Location
Currently not on view
ID Number
GA.03211.03a
accession number
22582
catalog number
03211.03a

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