Ukiyo-e printmaking process of Hokusai's masterpiece, "Great Wave off Kanagawa"

  • The master drawing

  • Finished print

Carving Process

The carver outlines artist’s lines faithfully and lively with using the carving knife.
Appling the paste on the woodblock. Turning the master drawing upside down and pasting it to the woodblock. The master drawing is carved away during the carving process.
The carver outlines the lines on the master drawing.
Chipping away larger unnecessary areas with chisels.
A fine chisel is used to cut away in more detailed areas.
The key block is finished and ready to be printed.

Printing Process

The Printer prints each color by hand. Vivid colors are emerging as the artist directed.
The pigment is applied on the woodblock with a small brush.
Washi paper is placed on the woodblock and line up using the registration marks.
The pigment is rubbed into the paper with using a Baren, rubbing pad The printer prints with perfectly consistent pressure.
This printing process is repeated for each color block.
Printing Process of
"Great Wave off Kanagawa"
By Hokusai Katsushika