Other Miscellaneous Publisher's Seals, Part 1

("Shin Hanga" Era -- c1900 to Present Day)


Adachi Hanga Kenkyusho, founded 1926 in Tokyo by Adachi Toyohisa. This publisher specialized in high quality "ukiyoe" reprints and is still active today.

Description The seal left is in Japanese "katakana" and reads A-DA-CHI, normally it is printed onto the verso of the print. The right seal is a rare embossed version, reading A-DA-CHI-HAN (Adachi publisher) in Japanese "hiragana" characters.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1926 until present day
Artists Served Kobayakawa, Wada, Pieter Irwin Brown

Baba Nobuhiko

Baba Nobuhiko was active in Kyoto from the 1930s until the mid 1950s. Tsuchiya Koitsu, Domoto Incho and Mori Masamoto were among the artists, whose works Baba published.

Description The seal left side shows in the upper left part the copyright statement "hanken shoju", followed right side with "kensei sakusha", joint maker and publisher. In the bridge-pillar like cartouche we see the name Baba Nobuhiko, and the small two offset boxes give us printer (left) and carver (right) information: Sato and Ikeda resp.
Location Kyoto
Time Period c1930's to mid-1950's
Artists Served Tsuchiya Koitsu, Domoto Incho and Mori Masamoto


Bijutsusha acted in Tokyo in the 1920's-1930's, mainly making ukiyoe reproductions, but also shinhanga, e.g., prints of Hasui.

Description A recent reading of this calligraphic symbol (by Tosh Doi, Tokyo, 2002) is "Bi"--or the first kanji character of the publisher's name, "Bi-jutsu-sha." (Previously this symbol was assumed to be a "hiragana" combination of the characters "ru" (top) and "mi" (lower), therefore to be read "rumi".) Also exists in red printing ink.
Location Kyoto
Time Period 1920's to 1930's
Artists Served Hasui, Shuho Yamakawa


Doi began publishing "shin-hanga" in 1930 and is still active today. See a separate Doi article here.

Description The left half reads Doi Eiichi, the right half "hanken shoju," or "copyright reserved." This seal is used nowadays by Doi.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1930 until present
Artists Served Hasui, Koitsu, Nouet, Tekiho

Fusui Gabo

Active in Tokyo in the 1920s - 1930s. Made mainly ukiyoe reproductions, but also shinhanga.

Description On top of the seal the typical copyright remark "hanken shoyu", followed by Fusui Gabo Hakko (published by Fusui Gallery) in Japanese characters. The left lower box mentions the printer Ono Tomisaburo, the right box the carver Takano Shishinosuke.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1920's/1930's
Artists Served Hiroaki Takahashi


Not much is known about this publisher, who was active in the 1920's.

Description The seals read Shuppan moto (Publisher/distributor) Gahosha.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1920's
Artists Served Nishizawa


Gusokuya acted around 1880, published among others some of the postcard size prints of the artist Inoue Yasuji, whose works in some extent were copies of the works of Kiyochika Kobayashi.

Description Within the oval cartouche the left side top down reads Gusokuya Han, followed right side by the location of the publisher, Ningyocho, a quarter in Tokyo.
Location Tokyo
Time Period ca 1880
Artists Served Inoue Yasuji


Hamamatsudo was a publishing company owned by the Doi family, they printed temporarily designs which earlier were published by Doi. The prints are based on existing, but recut blocks by Harada, printer was Seki, who had learned printing at Doi as a pupil of Yokoi.

Description "Hamamatsudo" - small image - is almost completely hidden in the complex publisher's seal; the name comes from the city of Hamamatsu, the hometown of Mrs. Doi. The company was run by the brother of Mrs. Suzue Doi
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1960s/1970s
Artists Served Koitsu, Hasui

Iida Kunitaro

Not much is known about this publisher, who published some shinhanga, commissioned by Doi.

Description The upper part is the copyright statement "Hanken Shoyu", the lower part in Kanji characters is the name Iida Kunitaro
Location Tokyo
Time Period early 1930s
Artists Served Hasui


Ikeda was active in Tokyo in the 1930s. He published several bijin-ga (beauty prints) of Torii Kotondo.

Description The seal, usually in black, occasionally embossed, reads Ikeda Han.
Location Tokyo
Time Period around 1930
Artists Served Torii Kotondo


Kato Junzi published shinhanga prints in the 1920s/1930s, among them, prints of Hasui.

Description The upper half of the seal is the copyright statement "Hanken shoyu", followed by the name Kato Junzi.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1920s/1930s
Artists Served Hasui, Fujita Leonard, Goro


Kawaguchi continued around 1931 the business of Sakai Kawaguchi Tohan (Sakai Kawaguchi joint publishers), publishing prints of Hasui and Koitsu. The Tokyo based publisher Shobisha acquired approx. 1950 15 sets of blocks of Hasui prints from Kawaguchi.

Description The oval cartouche reads in Katakana Ka-Wa-Gu-Chi.
Location Tokyo
Time Period approx. 1930 - 1950
Artists Served Koitsu, Hasui


Kinjiro published eight prints of Kasamatsu Shiro 1948-1950. According to Merritt & Yamada, Kinjiro was associated with the publisher Daikokuya of Matsuki Heikichi.

Description We do not know how the Kinjiro seal actually looks like - if existing at all -, because none of the eight Kasamatsu prints published by them bears a seal. The writing from an exhibition catalogue characterizes how it might have looked - Kinjiro Han.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1948/1952
Artists Served Kasamatsu Shiro


The publisher Kondo Kihachiro is not mentioned in Merritt & Yamada.

Description The upper part of the seal reads Hanken Shoju, the copyright statement, followed by the name Kondo Kihachiro. Ono Tomi printed for Kondo, as one of the carvers Okura is mentioned
Location not known
Time Period not known
Artists Served Sekido

Kyoto Hanga-In

This publisher mainly made ukiyoe restrikes throughout the Showa period.

Description The left seal reads "Han Moto Kyoto Hanga In." The alternate right reads "Kyoto Hanga In, Shinagawa Ban."
Location Kyoto
Time Period 1935-88
Artists Served Reproductions of "ukiyo-e" prints.

Maeba Han

Published shinhanga in early Showa period.

Description The oval cartouche reads Maeba Han - Maeba Publishing House - in Japanese characters.
Location not known
Time Period around 1930
Artists Served Oda Hironobu


This publisher is located in Kyoto, in late Showa he published two series of each 12 Kiyochika prints from recut blocks.

Description The seal is a simple Katakana "MA" character, which is placed in either the right or left lower marging. Several of the Kiyochika restrikes however do not bear this seal.
Location Kyoto
Time Period still active today
Artists Served Kiyochika


Matsuku, or sometimes pronounced Matsukyu, is a company founded after the war by the artist Tomikichiro Tokuriki, mainly for the promotion of his own prints, but also for prints of other artists, e.g., Ito Nisaburo, who Matsuku as outlet.

Description Both seals read simply HAN-MOTO-MA-TSU-KU, publisher Matsuku.
Location Kyoto
Time Period around 1950s
Artists Served Tokuriki Tomikichiro, Ito Nisaburo

Nihon Hanga Kenkyusho

This seal, in the shape of a "baren", is the seal of a company, founded 1946 by the artist Kihachiro Okuyama. Many of his postwar prints are still available at a shop close to the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.

Description The seal simply states "Han Ken", as an extract of the complete name Nihon HANga KENkysho.
Location Tokyo
Time Period 1946 - 1948
Artists Served Okuyama Kihachiro


Nishinomiya published shinhanga by various artists in Tokyo. He is also associated with the publisher Hasegawa.

Description Hanken Shoyu - copyright reserved, followed by the name Nishinomiya Yosaku
Location Tokyo
Time Period early 1900s until 1950s
Artists Served Shoson, Shoda Koho, Ito Yuhan, Kason, Yoshimoto Gesso

Oedo Mokuhansha

This publisher mainly made ukiyoe restrikes, but also printed around 1970/1980 a series of Hasui and Koitsu prints with blocks from Doi.

Description The seal in both black and red version reads Oedo Mokuhansha in japanese Kanji characters. Translated it means "Big Edo Woodblock Print Publisher"
Location Tokyo
Time Period probably from 1950 until now
Artists Served Hasui, Koitsu, Nouet



Description **
Location **
Time Period **
Artists Served **

Continue to Part 2 of this "Quick Reference" via this link: "Other Miscellaneous Publisher's Seals--Part 2"

© Dr. Andreas Grund and Thomas Crossland 2002

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