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"The Beast Known as Kotobuki - Rat -"

This piece was inspired by “A Beast called Kotobuki” by Shigemitsu Enrousai, an ukiyo-e artist of the late Edo Period. The auspicious creature that embodies the characteristics of all the animals of the Eastern zodiac has been painted by Enrousai and other ukiyo-e artists. As a motif, it resonates with the theme of “reverence, life and death, the cyclical nature of life” that feebee has expressed through her work. Various elements are entwined with one another as they rise and fall in a continuous cycle. The 12 animals of the zodiac also revolve, one animal taking center stage each year to create the calendar. This piece was created for the Year of the Rat and features a creature with a rat's head and the other 11 animals, awaiting their turn, masterfully incorporated into its body.

*After the Year of Rat, the other animals of the zodiac are scheduled to be released as a series.

Photo=Seiya Kawamoto

feebee explores the world of woodcut prints as a contemporary ukiyo-e artist.

Rat and the other 11 animals

Each of the 12 animals of the zodiac are carefully carved.

The lines painted by feebee are faithfully carved into the blocks which make the woodcut prints.

The colors envisioned by the artist are printed one color at a time.

feebee stands next to the printer to check the colors as they are printed.

Each print is signed by the artist.

The ukiyo-e is printed on Echizen kizuki hosho washi (a unique kind of Japanese paper) handmade from 100% paper-mulberry fibers by Ichibei Iwano, a living national treasure.

The lines drawn by feebee are immaculate.
The collaboration between the carver and the artist is electrifying.

The precise lines are characteristic of feebee and are essential to the production of ukiyo-e prints. The carver puts all his skills to use as she carves the unwavering and beautiful lines. Revealed here is the true appeal of ukiyo-e prints, a composite art created through the collaboration of the artist, the carver and the printer.

Bright and airy colors unique to ukiyo-e woodcut prints
Working together to bring life to feebee’s vision

The vivid colors of ukiyo-e woodcut prints are produced by pressing water-based pigment inks into carefully handcrafted Japanese paper made from paper-mulberry pulp. The printer recreates the vivid colors envisioned by the artist feebee by carefully preparing the inks and using a baren rubbing pad to press them into the handcrafted Japanese paper.


feebee has worked as an illustrator since 2002.
The TENGAI2.0 exhibition curated by contemporary artist Tenmyouya Hisashi became a springboard for her to make a transition to painter and artist from around 2015.
Making use of her talent for character design that she developed as an illustrator and traditional painting techniques based on the Chinese panting technique of Gongbi and Japanese-style painting, feebee has gained acclaim for works featuring mystical creatures from legends and myths.
feebee sees the world as a "cycling" phenomenon and is interested in how we can become involved in the flow to create a virtuous cycle for the next generation. Such sensibilities and interests are expressed through her work.
In January 2020, feebee's "Impartial Spectator" exhibition opened (Kiyoshi Art Space). feebee is not affiliated with any artists' organization.

No. of copies:
Dimension of picture:
Dimension of frame:
39.8×39.8cm  Original Frame
Specification of frame:
Approx. 2.0kg, wood, acrylic resin
Type of print:
Woodcut print
Paper used:
Echizen kizuki hosho washi (produced by living national treasure Ichibei Iwano)
Date of publication:
December 2019
The Adachi Foundation for the Preservation of Woodcut Printing
The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints
Within one week from order confirmation