Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe : Tokaido Diva Hatsune Miku

Hobby Stock Announces Pre-orders for Third Print Release of Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints of Hatsune Miku: Tokaido Diva Hatsune Miku

Hobby Stock is slated to release 100 new prints for the third edition printing of Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe Woodblock Prints : Tokaido Diva Hatsune Miku this March. Pre-orders are now available.

Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe

Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe

In these Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe prints, kimono-clad Hatsune Miku stands before Mount Fuji and Edo-era Nihonbashi Bridge in the background. This isn’t merely a ukiyo-e style illustration. For this collaboration, these prints have all the points of traditional woodblock prints down! Let’s see how Hobby Stock brought together an over 400-year old art form and an electronic diva of today!


Since the Edo period, craftsmen have passed down and developed the traditional art of ukiyo-e woodblock printing. Though this is a traditional craft, these ukiyo-e prints introduced here feature virtual diva “Hatsune Miku.”


From the paper made by a Japanese national living treasure, the hand carving of the print block, to the printing itself, the production of ukiyo-e prints uses traditional technique craftspeople have brought to the highest level of mastery. Ukiyo-e is a valuable aspect cultural heritage in Japan that has been gaining worldwide acclaim. Through ukiyo-e prints, electronic diva “Hatsune Miku will be reproduced with the highest level of craft and quality. Hobby Stock produced the Hatsune Miku’s illustration while painter Fuyuki of Kyoto designed the background.


Let’s take a look at how these prints are made! The process has been broken down into three parts: carving, printing, and paper.



Carving the Ukiyoe

Carving the Ukiyoe


Kazuo Watanabe, a master of ukiyo-e carvings, has worked with lines that flow like hair and are less than a 1 mm wide. The carving block, the foundation for such delicate work, he is using is made of sakura wood that is valuable, hard, and has every few warps. The carver’s many years of experience allows him to create a number of carvings without wasting wood and depict the same lines and colors of the the original illustration.  Each color has its own woodblock. In total, Watanabe carved 21 blocks that includes twenty versions for each color plus a block with for fine outlines.

Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe carving




Ukiyoe Printing

Ukiyoe Printing


Using the completed woodblocks, the printer diligently reproduces the colors of the original illustration. To bring to life the details, scenery and gradient, the printer layers each color over and over on block. While looking at the original illustration, the printer mixes paints, and to make deeper colors they add layers of colors on top of each other. The face, the outline, cheek, nose, and blush have to be added with a separate printing block. If these details don’t line up just right with the other elements of the print or if the color is a little too deep, the entire print changes. The face is a very difficult part. Hakko Nakayama of Kyoto’s Sato Woodblock Studio handled a 21 woodblocks and layered them 45 times to create the print.


Japanese Paper

The process of printing Ukiyoe


Japanese paper

The printer used Echizen Kizuki Hosho paper for this print. This paper is strong enough to endure being inked with a woodblock 45 times. “Iwano Ichinobei Kizuki Hoshor” is a type of Japanese paper created by Iwano Ichinobei, the ninth generation artisan who inherited the technique of handmade Japanese paper using 100% wood pulp. He was named a living national treasure in Japan in 2000.


About the third edition of the Hatsune Miku Ukiyoe

This edition is a 100 print limited run for both domestic and international sales. There are usually no differences in the prints for a 400 print run. As such, there are no differences between the prints from the first to the last.

This edition is listed as “third edition” in the bottom corner margin of each print.
[Product specifications]
■ Product Name: 【Third Edition】 Ukiyo-e prints woodblock prints Hatsune Miku Utahime Tokaido Hatsune Miku (shipped in March, 2017)
# Version number / number of sheets: third edition 100 prints only
■ Illustration: HOBBY STOCK
■ Illustration size: length 37 cm × width 24.5 cm
■ Paper Size: length 40 cm × width 27 cm
■ Artist: Fuyuki
■ Carver: Kazuo Watanabe
■ Printer: Hakko Nakayama
■ Paper: Echizen Seika Textbook Paper (Human National Treasure No. 9 Iwano Ichibei)
■ Geijyodo version 21 edition 45 degrees slide
■ Sales price: 45,000 yen + tax
■ Product page: www.hobbystock.jp/item/view/hso-ccg-00002281/
· There are individual differences between each print because craftsmen produce each print one by one by hand. Please understand in advance.
· In the production process, color shift, color unevenness, paper sticking etc. may occur. This is also one of the features of woodblock prints. Please enjoy it as a unique texture.
· Samples and actual products may differ slightly, please note in advance.

This article is a translation from our media partner “Akiba+”

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Zeb Teckto

Zeb Teckto

Contributing Writer
Writer and observer in Tokyo. In the search for the ultimate anime startup.
Zeb Teckto