About Japanese woodblock prints
These beautiful evocations of classic Japan would seem to need no introduction; since they became available to Western eyes, their influence has been widespread and they have been avidly collected and studied.  A great deal of good information about woodblock prints is available on the web.  Here are links to a few of them, and a glossary of Japanese words associated with woodblock prints.
Viewing Japanese Prints contains essays and illustrations of all major categories of Japanese woodblock prints:  ukiyoe, shin-hanga, sosaku hanga, and contemporary prints, plus discussions of various woodblock-related subjects such as techniques, chemical dyes, signatures and seals, and much more, including a collection of links, all from John Fiorillo.
About woodblock print recuts, an article on this site, discusses the reason and method for producing these lower-priced editions of famous prints.
Handbook of Japanese Printmaking Techniques is a reference work in progress on the site of David Bull, a Canadian maker of traditional Japanese woodblock prints living in Tokyo.  If you would like to know how woodblock prints are made and what tools and equipment are used, as described by practitioners of the art in fine detail, this is your link.
Hanga Gallery concerns itself with 20th-century prints, and is a wonderful site, especially strong in background information (standard print sizes and names, artists and printers, and includes a glossary, reproduced below, of Japanese words related to woodblock prints and to the Japan one encounters in reading about them.  The many images of prints for sale provide an aesthetic as well as educational experience.
Shogun Gallery specializes in older woodblock prints; the site includes a discussion of the history and care of Japanese prints, and a discussion forum.

Glossary of Japanese woodblock terms
The basic glossary, borrowed with thanks from Hanga Gallery,
has been edited and expanded for use here.

aiban Print size, approximately 32 x 22 cm.  Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
aragato 'Rough stuff'. Highly stylized and fierce acting style in the Kabuki theater.
bakufu A feudal government.
baren A disk made of tightly twisted and coiled bamboo leaves backed by several layers of lacquered paper and covered by a bamboo leaf. A baren is used for applying pressure when printing with woodblocks.
bijin 'Beautiful woman,' a standard subject of Japanese woodblock prints.
bijin-e, bijin ga Pictures of beautiful women.
bijutsu Art, fine arts, or visual art.
bokashi Shading or gradation in areas printed in color, a technique employed by the printer, and which is a sign of a quality print. 
bunraku Puppet theater.
chuban Print size, approximately 25 x 17 cm.  Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
daimyo Literally, "great name"; a feudal lord.
dai-ya A cook house in the brothel district.
ehon 'Picture book'; book illustrated with woodblock prints.
fukei Scenery.
fukusei Reproduction.
fukusei hanga Print made in reproduction of a painting or another print.
ga A suffix meaning "picture by". Often used as the last character to a signature.
gashu A collection of pictures.
gendai Present day, current.
go An artist's pen-name or pseudonym. An artist may use a variety of go throughout his career.
gofun An opaque white pigment, often splashed on a print to imitate effects such as snow in a three-dimensional manner.
hana Flower or flowers.
hanga Generic term for 'print', usually referring to woodblock prints.
hanmoto A publisher, particularly a publisher of woodblock prints.
hanshita-e The finished drawing of a print that is pasted on a block of wood to be carved into the key block.
haori A jacket worn over a kimono; an informal garment.
hashira-e 'Pillar print'. A highly variable print size of approximately 75 tall x 13 cm. wide, used on the posts which support traditional Japanese houses; they are also seen in pairs, used on either side of the entrance to a room.
Heisei Era from 1989 to present, the reign-name of the current emperor.
hiragana Syllabary for writing Japanese phonetically, and for giving grammatical details to the Chinese characters that form the basis of written Japanese; it has a cursive appearance, as opposed to katakana, q.v.
hitsu Used on woodblock prints as a suffix meaning 'brush of',' as the last character of a signature.
jizuri Self-printed; printed by the artist, or, the printing personally supervised by the artist. Also refers to the seal on original Hiroshi Yoshida prints.
Kabuki Popular form of theater that developed in the urban culture of Edo and which was an important subject of Japanese woodblock prints.
kacho Flowers and birds, a frequent subject of many woodblock prints.
kacho-e, kacho ga Pictures of flowers and birds.
kanji Chinese characters used in Japanese writing, often slightly modified from the originals.
Kano A Chinese-inspired school of painting that flourished beginning in the 15th century. It became the official school of painting of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Kansai The western part of the main Japanese island of Honshu, an area in Japan which includes Kobe, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto.
Kanto The eastern part of the main Japanese island of Honshu, an area in Japan which includes Tokyo and Yokohama.
katakana Japanese syllabary representing Japanese phonetically, used primarily  foreign words or to indicate a lighter meaning; its angular appearance is similar to printing, compared to the cursive hiragana, q.v..
key block Block used to print the outlines of a print. It is cut from the finished drawing of the print designer (hanshita-e), and is the first block to be printed. More information here.
koban Print size being used for one-half of an aiban (22 x 16 cm) or chuban (17 x 12 cm) or one-fourth of an oban (18 x 13 cm). Multiple small blocks were often produced on one large block. Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
kozo Traditional Japanese paper made of mulberry fiber used in woodblock prints.
kuchi-e Woodblock-printed illustrations for novels and literary magazines. These prints generally have a crease-line from being folded in a book. Many of the leading woodblock artists of the Meiji Period worked in this genre, including Mizuno Toshikata, Ogata Gekko, Kajita Hanko, and the young illustrator, Kaburagi Kiyokata. The primary subject matter of kuchi-e are bijin or 'beautiful women'. More on kuchi-e.
kyokai An association or society.
maiko An apprentice geisha, or woman professional entertainer, young women often known for their dancing.
manga Literally, 'comic pictures' or caricatures; sketchbooks.
Meiji Era from 1868 to 1912, the reign of Emperor Meiji.
meisho 'Name place,' a favorite subject for prints produced in series.
mie A pose or posture often assumed by kabuki actors at dramatic high points in the story.
mingei Folk arts, those produced by provincial artisans for local use, and including cermamics, textiles, wood working, and many other products for private domestic use.
mon A family crest, emblem, or insignia, used in white on black formal kimono, and seen on the clothes of actors or historical figures.
moku hanga Woodblock print.
Nanga A Chinese painting style used by the literati of Japan since the 18th century; amateur painters and painting, as opposed to professional painters such as those of the Kano (q.v.) school.
Nihonga Japanese style painting of the 20th century.
nishiki-e 'Brocade pictures'. A term generally used to denote full-color multi-block printing since the introduction of the kento in the 1760's.  
Noh or No Classical theater of the aristocratic classes, characterized by its use of masks. Unlike Kabuki, No was not usually portrayed in woodblock prints.
oban Print size. Approximately 37 x 26 cm. The predominant print size throughout the history of Japanese woodblock prints.  Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
obi A broad sash worn with a kimono.
okubi-e 'Picture of a large head'. A close-up portrait.
onnagata 'Female form'. Male actors in the Kabuki theater who played female roles.
otanzaku Print size. Approximately 37 x 17 cm. Derived from the shape of the poem slip or tanzaku.  Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
saku A suffix meaning 'work of',' and often used as the last character of a signature.
samisen A three-stringed instrument with a small square body, rounded sides, and a long neck.
sashi-e An illustration.
sha A suffix meaning 'depiction' or 'depicted by'. Sometimes used as the last character of a signature.
shakuhachi A wind instrument of bamboo with four holes in front and one behind.
shikishiban Print size. A square format, approximately 23 x 23 cm.  Please see the Hanga Gallery chart of print sizes.
shin hanga 'New prints'. A term originally coined by the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. Refers to the prints that resulted from the early 20th century movement to revitalize traditional printmaking techniques and practices.
Showa Era from 1926 to 1989, the reign of Emperor Showa (or Hirohito).
sosaku hanga 'Creative prints'. Prints produced in juxtaposition to the 'new prints' of the shin hanga movement. This movement was based on Western traditions of printmaking, in which the artist carried out the entire creative process.
sumi Chinese ink stored as a dry ink stick and ground as needed.
sumi-e Monochromatic ink painting.
sumo Japanese style of wrestling.
suzuri Stone for grinding an ink stick.
Taisho Era from 1912 to 1926; early modern period between the reigns of Emperors Meiji and Showa.
tate-e 'Vertical print' as in oban tate-e. A vertically aligned print.
tayu The highest ranked courtesan.
to Knife used to carve woodblocks.
Tokaido Major road used in the Edo period between Kyoto and Edo (modern-day Tokyo).  The government was located in Edo in the shogunate, the emperor resided in Kyoto, and so there was much travel between the two cities by members of the court and government, and scenes along the way were frequently depicted in woodblock prints.
torii A high gate, sometimes red, with two curved crossbars, at the entrance to a sacred Shinto area. An especially famous torii is found at the Miyajima Shrine.
Ueno A section of Tokyo which includes Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park, and several museums.
ukiyo-e 'Pictures of the floating world'. Prints and paintings showing the transient life, the 'floating world' of the urban population of the Edo period (1600-1868).
washi General term for Japanese (handmade) paper.
Yoga 'Western painting'. A style of painting that shows strong influence from the West, especially in the use of perspective.
yoko-e 'Horizontal print' as in oban yoko-e. A horizontally aligned print.
Yoshiwara A brothel district in Tokyo.
yujo A courtesan.
yukata A light summer kimono made of cotton, often in a blue and white pattern; an informal garment.
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