Ukiyo-e is a style of woodblock print art popularized in the Edo period (1603-1868). There are only six ukiyo-e level woodblock-carving masters left in the world (all in Japan), and one of those is master woodblock carver Motoharu Asaka, who has been practicing his craft for 40 years. It is at his studio, Takumi Hanga, where complete beginners to the art – regardless of nationality – can get firsthand experience in this skillful practice.
Visitors to Takumi Hanga don’t need to have aspirations to become the next Hokusai as Asaka-sensei offers one-time printing sessions using his own blocks. More adventurous students create their own designs and learn how to print them in a double-session class, while those who want to dedicate themselves to the medium can arrange a full course where they can go more in-depth and learn the whole process. Regular classes in English are provided with the assistance of interpreter and artist Louise Rouse.