In ten weeks students are briefly introduced to the history and concepts of Mokuhanga and taught the three main processes in mokuhanga – design, carving and printing. The end aim is to have produced a finished print of one or more colours and gained an understanding of mokuhanga.


Week 1 – 2 In the first class students will begin to develop their design idea and transfer it to the wooden block, ready to be carved.
Week 2 – 5 Safe, ergonomic and effective carving techniques are introduced to students who proceed to carve their design until it is ready for the printing stage. Key principles of carving related to mokuhanga printing are covered. The use of different tools are shown and sharpening of tools is also taught.
Weeks 5 – 7 Printing is introduced, with a focus on overcoming common mistakes for beginners to produce an acceptable quality print. The use and handling of paper, various brushes, pigments, baren and other equipment is taught.
Week 7 – 10 Revisiting all three stages students are taught to correct common faults and produce a finished small edition of prints.

Depending on the speed of work the student can finish a print of one to four colours. There is plenty of time for discussion and individual tuition.


7 or 8 week courses-

The same content is included, there is just a bit more emphasis to finish carving earlier.

What is Mokuhanga?


Detail of traditional print "Haru Nano Higashi Genji" by Kunichika Toyohara


Mokuhanga is the traditional water based printing technique, originating in China and perfected in Japan.

A print is created through design, carving blocks for each colour, then printing each colour successively until the print edition is completed.


Mokuhanga is the Japanese word for wood block print. The Japanese characters 木版画 are 木 wood, 版 block and 画 picture.


In Japan its meaning is the print itself, but in general contemporary use it means both the print and the technique. Mokuhanga is growing in popularity worldwide as learning becomes more accessible to people outside of Japan.



Kunisada Printmaking tripty




Mokuhanga is chemical free, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, uses relatively simple hand tools and equipment and requires little space to produce beautiful work. The natural beauty of the materials - wood, pigment and hand-made paper are all retained and enhance each other. A great choice for Artists or any creative person!


no-poisons no-press




Terry McKenna Mokuhanga

This is a short video showing teacher Terry McKenna making one of his mokuhanga...

You can find more about Terry's work on his dedicated website at www.egaku.com.au

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Kyoto Mokuhanga Tours

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