4/20/11

Wookblock Printer UCHIDA Kyoto, Japan


Over the next few days I'll be featuring some (oh geez, I'm about to say it...) antique greeting cards. Considering these were cards I used when I was a child. thinking of my youth as antique makes me pause. But indeed, these are over 50 years old. My folks gave them to me when we lived in Hawaii. I managed to keep a single copy of each design. My best friend has several I sent her. I imagine the others were sent to my maternal grandmother. I don't actually know.

Over the years I have often taken these out of their little box and examined them. For years I had "misplaced" them and only remembered them because my best friend sent me a scan of one she found in her files. A few days later I found the box in my doll case beneath a Japanese baby doll.

The images on these cards are all handprinted from woodblocks and represent popular children's stories in Japan. The company, Uchida, still exists. Their work can be found at the Kyoto Handicraft Center. The only biographical information I found was at the Metropolitan Postcard Club in New York City:
Uchida Art Co. Ltd. 1919-
Kyoto, Japan

This woodblock printing firm has preserved the traditional skills and methods of Japanese printing as Western technology has come to dominate this nation’s printing industry. They produce screens, scrolls, and publish postcards even in the current continental size.
This I believe is the signature of the artist. Anyone out there read kanji, hiragana, or katakana? I don't know which category this will fall in. It appears on the front image of each card.

This is the cover of the little box. Again, I have no idea of what is written, but have always loved the little box with the wondrous images inside.


Uchida_a_tatteredandlost
Momotaro (the Peach boy)

Uchada_b_tatteredandlost
Issunboshi (the one inch boy) boy in rice bowl

The interior shows the logo of the Uchida company. And just in case you didn't realize it, these are Christmas cards.

Uchida_int crd_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

And here is a book, Japanese Woodblock Prints by Uchida explaining how they create their art. Some lovely images.

More images tomorrow.

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