About Print Making
Japanese Woodblock Prints
Watanabe seals “A” through “I, K and L are usually found on the margins of the print.
The 6mm and 7mm round seals are usually found within the print itself.
The “Heisei”sealed prints are recent [1980s to the present] prints made from existing
original and re-cut blocks. This seal is most often found on the lower right margin.
Watanabe Shozaburo, the Tokyo publisher who published most of Kawase Hasui’s woodblock prints, started using the seal “I” [6mm round] to mark his prints. Most pre-earthquake [1918-1923] prints are marked with this but a few have no seal at all. These prints, since almost all blocks were destroyed in the fires that followed the earthquake and were never reprinted, are extremely rare and valuable. After 1924 other publishers were copying many of Watanabe’s prints so he began using more complex copyright seals. Seals “A” through “G” are examples of these seals. Prints with these seals, and dates corresponding, are
considered originals. After 1945 many earlier prints were reprinted and bear the “I” [6mm] seal. These prints, while not considered originals are considered “Life Time” prints. Most newly designed prints made
after 1945 also bear the “I” [6mm] seal and are considered originals. After Hasui’s death in 1957 reprints
were marked with “J” [7mm] seal and are therefore not considered original. The “H” gift seal was used for private publications, gifts, proofs and sometimes for prints of lesser quality. In recent years Watanabe has reprinted Hasui prints with the “Heisei”seal . This seal is usually red and placed in the lower right margin.
This Kawase Hasui print identification program has large-size individual,
high-resolution prints which can be searched by several criteria,
including title, date, seal and number. A thumbnail view can be set
for length of time for viewing, starting point, backwards, forwards
and other controls. This program is well-suited for galleries and
collector use with its fast slide show. It can be loaded onto a computer,
laptop, palm pilot, or any PC formatted image-storing device.
Price, including shipping within the U.S.: $150
Please inquire if you
wish a copy shipped outside of the U.S.