About Takahashi Kobo
Founded over 160 years ago.
The most historic Ukiyo-e woodblock print studio remaining today.
The term “Ukiyo-e” might make you think of Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ or of Toshusai Sharaku’s dynamic portraits of kabuki actors.
Many of these images were produced as “hanga”, that is, woodblock prints. Hanga printing is said to be the origin of Japanese printing technology, which is characterised by multi-coloured, richly hued prints.
This technology, called “Edo-mokuhanga”, or Edo woodblock printing, has been passed down as a traditional craft skill for more than 400 years, primarily in Tokyo (formerly known as Edo).
At Takahashi Kobo, we are proud to be producing for a modern audience Ukiyo-e woodblock prints identical to those enjoyed by the people of Edo. Our prints are hand-crafted by skilled artisans, using materials and techniques unchanged since the Edo period (1603-1868).
Takahashi Kobo was founded in the Ansei era (1854-1860) of the Edo period.
The Takahashi family has been “surishi” (printers) since the outset of our business. Since our fourth generation owner, we have also operated as a “hanmoto”, or publisher, of Edo woodblock prints.
Since our establishment over 160 years ago, we have been firmly committed to producing traditional woodblock prints.
Our current representative, Yukiko Takahashi, studied printing techniques under her father and later become the sixth generation to lead Takahashi Kobo. She has started initiatives to promote and develop the culture of Edo woodblock prints as a publisher.