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Brief Biographies of Doi Carvers & Printers
by Chihiro "Tosh" Doi

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Dubious distinctions



I have recently found very informative reference articles in order to know personal backgrounds of carvers and printers for shin hanga prints as follows:

(1) Genealogical Trees of Carvers & Printers as of 1920, by a public researcher Mr. Ikuta Kakyu.

(2) Carvers and Printers Directory in Kanto Area (Tokyo, Yokohama, Shizuoka & its vicinity), as of 1932 & 1962 compiled by a public researcher Mr. Hase Ryohei.

(3) Authentic Woodblock Artisans Directory (artists, carvers and printers from Edo to Modern), by Kyoto Hanga Institute as of October 1966 under the supervision of Mr. Hase Ryohei.

(4) Woodblock Carvers & Printers in Showa Era as of June 1980, by Mr. Takagi Shoji (Ex-Director of Ukiyo-e Carving & Printing Preservation Association).

Once I can finish compiling those data with other available information, I am going to dispatch a comprehensive list of carvers and printers for shin hanga prints in alphabetical order by modifying and updating their names listed in the Merritt & Yamada reference book.

For the time being I would like to share the following information on carvers and printers listed at our clubsite of Doi Seals and to help improve the Doi printer timeline.

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Doi Carvers

(1) Endoh = Endou Koukyoku (or Mitsunobu)

Endo Kokyoku (or Mitsunobu) may still be active as a carver from Fujikawa School by managing his own engraving company with his son Yoshitaka in Tokyo. Born in 1918, he was still alive in 2000 at age 82. His most active period should be mostly post-war but he might have carved a Hasui design "Evening Snow at Edogawa" in 1932.

(2) Fujikawa = Fujikawa Tsurujirou

Fujikawa School was founded by Fujikawa Tsurujirou who was active beginning in the 1900's decade. He adopted Fujikawa Saburo as his successor around the late 1920's. A Fujikawa carver seal (probably from one of these two carvers) is found on Hasui's design "Winter Moon at Toyama" published in 1931 by Doi Teiichi. Because Tsurujirou lived until 1949, he was the more likely one to work for Doi and Hojudo with Hasui prints in the 1930's.

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(3) Harada = Harada Kametaro

Harada Kametaro was listed as an active carver belonging to Kataoka School at age 58 in 1962. So he must work for Doi Hangaten but it is not sure when he began to work as principal carver for Doi (in pre-war or in post-war time frame?).

(4) Ikeda = Ikeda brothers (Seizo or Tsunekichi or Kanekichi)

  • Ikeda Seizo: passed away at age 74 in 1951.
  • Ikeda Tsunekichi: passed away in 1947 (age not mentioned).
  • Ikeda Kanekichi: passed away at age 65 in 1965.
As all three Ikeda brothers belonging to Otsuka Nakahashi School were all active in pre-war period, any of them could have carved Koitsu and Noël Nouët designs published by Doi Teiichi between 1934-1938.

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(5) Kataoka = Kataoka Umekichi

Kataoka Umekichi was an active carver in pre-war period and passed away around in 1951. He was the only one candidate among Kataoka School carvers who could have carved Koitsu's design "Ueno Kiyomizudo Shrine" published by Doi Teiichi in 1940 because his elder brother Yoshinori passed away in 1939.

(6) Katsumura = Katsumura Shozo and his son (name unknown)

Katsumura Shozo was one of the most prominent carvers belonging to Egawa Genuine School and passed away around in 1943 (age not mentioned). Undoubtedly Shozo carved several Hasui designs in 1932 for Doi Teiichi by indicating his full name on those prints. As his son (name unknown) was also an active printer in 1932 under Shozo, his son might have partially carved Koitsu's designs published between 1933-35 before he died during his war service. (This is my personal opinion only.)

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(7) Yamada = Yamada Koichiro

Yamada Koichiro was an active carver belonging to Egawa Daikonbata School at age 36 in 1932. So he could have carved a few Koitsu designs published in 1933 by Doi Teiichi.

(8) (Ito) = (Ito Susumu)

Ito Susumu could be a candidate carver though I can't find any Ito seal as carver for Doi prints. He was born in 1916 and worked for various publishers. He was honorably awarded as one of the authentic artisans in Tokyo in 1994. He was one of the sharpest carvers belonging to Matsushima Genuine School but passed away at age 82 in 1998.

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Doi Printers

(1) Goto = Goto Manjiro

Goto Manjiro was an active printer belonging to Shinzo Enokiya School in 1932 and passed away around in 1952 (age not mentioned). He could have worked for Doi Teiichi by printing several designs of Hasui and Koitsu between 1931-1934.

(2) Hamano = Hamano Masayoshi

Hamano Masayoshi was born in 1937 and studied under Komatsu Heihachi in the 1970's. He has been working as principal printer for Doi Eiichi since 1995 instead of Seki Kenji. As of early 2002, he is still working for Doi.

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(3) Ito Kosaburo = Ito Kozaburo

Ito Kozaburo was born in 1912 as the third son of Ito Eikichi, who passed away at age 77 in 1947. Kozaburo was an active printer belonging to Yokohama Beach School at age 50 in 1962. He used to work as principal printer for Isetatsu in 1971.

Kozaburo had two elder brothers named Shinichi and Toraji who were also printers under Eikichi. After Toraji passed away at age 54 in 1957, Kozaburo took care of two descendants under Toraji and trained them instead. Ito Kozaburo must have worked for Doi Hangaten in post-war period but it is still uncertain whether or not he could have worked in pre-war period. If Mrs. S. Doi remembered them correctly, it is more likely that Ito Toraji might have also worked for Doi Hangaten together with Ito Kozaburo.

(4) Ito Tomo = Itou Tomorou = [Shinagawa Tomorou]

Ito Tomo must be Itou Tomorou who studied printing under Nagae Otojiro in Kyoto and then moved to Tokyo sometime in mid-1950's. He was born in 1933 and in 2000 was still active at age 67. While his former name was Shinagawa Tomorou, he changed his family name into Ito because Ito Toraji (see above) adopted him as his son before Toraji died in 1957. Ito Tomorou started to manage a printing company of Kyoeido together with Tochigi Yoshiro (also printer) as of 1980.

He could have worked for Doi Hangaten with Ito's seal as printer after his family name change, possibly sometime between 1960's - 1970's instead of the 1945 - 1950 previously suggested at our Doi printer timeline. Because of his 1933 birthdate, he had no possibility of working in the pre-war period for Doi. He used to work for Kyoto Hanga-in in the 1950's under the name Shinagawa Tomo according to Merritt & Yamada, page 224. A seal combination of Doi Eiichi/Itou/Endou might be possible if Tomorou could work for Doi.

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(5) Matsushita = Matsushita Tamotsu

Though I couldn't find Matsushita Tamotsu's name as printer at any list, he no doubt printed several Hasui and Koitsu designs published by Doi Teiichi between 1932 - 1935.

(6) Matsuzaki = Matsuzaki Keizaburo

Matsuzaki Keizaburo was born in 1937 and trained during 1960-70 under Takagi Shoji belonging to Matsumura Mitsui School. So he could have worked temporarily for Doi Eiichi with a recarved print of "Yanagi-bashi" by Koitsu sometime during or after 1970.

(7) Ono Hiko = Ono Hikojiro

Ono Hikojiro was born in 1897 as second son of Ono Tsunekichi (passed away at age 83 in 1947) and worked for Watanabe Shôzaburô and other publishers. He belonged to Ochanomizu School and passed away at age 63 in 1960. He had an elder brother Ono Gintaro who had worked for Watanabe since 1910 and passed away at age 82 in 1966. So Ono Hiko could have worked for Doi Hangaten either in pre-war or in post-war time frame.

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(8) Ono Tomi = Ono Tomisaburo

Ono Tomisaburo was born in 1904 as third son of Ono Tsunekichi and worked for various publishers. He passed away sometime between 1966 and 1980 (age not known). Ono Tomi could also have worked for Doi Hangaten either in pre-war or in post-war time frame.

(9) Seki = Seki Kenji

Seki Kenji was listed as an in-house apprentice student at age 21 in 1962 under Yokoi. So I confirmed that he was born around in 1940 and applied for Yokoi at age 15 in 1955 just after he finished his junior high school. He was trained under Yokoi until 1965 when he could be promoted as principal printer for Doi at his age 25. Seki has been working as an independent printer (also carver) after he left Doi Hangaten in 1995.

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(10) Yamada = Yamada Kozaburo

As Yamada Kozaburo was active at age 57 in 1962, he could have printed several Koitsu and Noël Nouët designs published by Doi Teiichi between 1935 - 1936.

(11) Yokoi = Yokoi Giichi (or Yoshikazu)

Yokoi must be Yokoi Giichi (or Yoshikazu) in full name because I confirmed he was alive at age 86 as of in June 1980. He was born around 1894 and trained under Washimi Tokutaro in Nagoya. Yokoi decided to move to Tokyo in 1936 when he could start working for Doi Teiichi. He apparently was promoted to be principal printer at Doi through his performances of Koitsu prints by 1940. Afterwards he was devoted to working for Doi Hangaten until his official retirement in 1965.

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I hope my report helps you to specify each Doi carver and printer mostly in full name along with his age information and personal background, although I couldn't clarify the Ito printers' obscurities yet.

If you have any question or comment on this report, please don't hesitate to get in contact at any time.

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Many thanks to our member and author Chihiro "Tosh" Doi for this useful and detailed research.

Quick Links:

  • Introduction
  • Doi Carvers
           -- Endo
           -- Fujikawa
           -- Harada
           -- Ikeda
           -- Kataoka
           -- Katsumura
           -- Yamada
           -- (Ito)
  • Doi Printers
           -- Goto
           -- Hamano
           -- Ito Kosaburo
           -- Ito Tomo
           -- Matsushita
           -- Matsuzaki
           -- Ono Hiko
           -- Ono Tomi
           -- Seki
           -- Yamada
           -- Yokoi
  • Conclusion

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