In the word "Ukiyo-e", Ukiyo means "Nowadays" and "Present", so in Ukiyo-e, the artisans portrayed sceneries such as popular beautiful women, kabuki actors, and famous locations of that period. UKIYO-E PROJECT has a mindset based on that "Ukiyo-e" in the modern era, and portray artists and pop icons of TODAY on traditional woodblock prints.


?〜What is Ukiyo-e〜!

Ukiyo-e is a Japanese traditional woodblock print. Moreover, since the 18th century, "multicolor brush prints" = "Nishiki-e" has been developed, and furthermore a dramatic development has been made. It is a technique unique to Japan. 
Do not forget the existence of craftsmen that supports that technique. The craftsmen are "illustrator", "woodcarver" and "printer". An excellent "Ukiyo-e" is born when all three craftsmen's skill reaches its peak. 
A project that links this tradition from past to present and to the future is "Ukiyo-e Project". Ukiyo-e has always reflected "current era" in every age. In other words, "Ukiyo-e is a mirror reflecting the present day". Even if it is drawn as a story of a period older than today, Ukiyo-e masters have drawn it as "modern Ukiyo-e".

Shigeru Shindo, Executive Director of the International Ukiyo-e Society

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Shigeru Shindo
UKIYO-E PROJECT Adviser                                              
Ukiyo-e Researcher・Ukiyo-e Connoisseur・Ukiyo-e Collector Executive Director of the International Ukiyo-e Society
Tokyo University of Science Department of Mathematics graduate (Set Theory major)
Kabuki-za Calendar- "Kabuki Egoyomi", in charge of planning, configuration and explanation on an annual basis
24th Uchiyama Award Recipient (Japan Ukiyo-e Society/ 2005/ Ukiyo-e Research)
He currently specializes in "Ukiyo-e", "Rakugo", "Kabuki", and "Japanese Mathematics", and with these as the foundation he has been promoting the empirical "Ukiyo-e Research". 

Past Exhibitions

150th Anniversary of Utagawa Kunisada’s death
Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

Ukiyo-e Floating World
Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Yoshu Chikanobu Exhibition
Hiraki Ukiyo-e Museum, Kanagawa, Japan

Yokohama Ukiyo-e Exhibition for the 150th Anniversary of Yokosuka Port Opening
Yokohama Takashimaya Department Store, Kanagawa, Japan

Kunishige Exhibition
Tokyo Station Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

4 Year Anniversary Ukiyo-e Exhibition
Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art, Tochigi, Japan

Rakugo in Ukiyo-e
Tobacco & Salt Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Kabuki in Ukiyo-e
Tobacco & Salt Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Theatrical Play Toys
Tobacco & Salt Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Osaka City Museum, Osaka, Japan

Actor Portrait Prints Exhibition
Liquor Museum, Tokyo, Japan



Ukiyo-e has always depicted "Now", and there are many stories within the artwork. Imagination expands from the bold composition, and the problem solves gradually as you understand the story. As a "Metal carver" myself, I am intrigued by the Ukiyo-e creation process.  From talking to the artisans, I am in touch by their technique, amazed, and greatly impressed by the rich expression of the woodblock prints.
I think there is "Japanese-ness" condensed in "Ukiyo-e". Meticulous work, incredible endurance from the excessive amount of precise work, variety of persistency, and harmony in division of labor.
Through this Project, I would be happy to see people from around the world to feel Japan. We will be creating "Contemporary Ukiyo-e" = "Artwork depicting Now" that we will be proud of 100 years later, 200 years later in the future.

Yuka Mitsui
Mitsui Agency International


・Jun 2019
Daikanyama Tsutaya T-SITE, Tokyo, JAPAN

・Jul 2018
David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Kidomaru” (Aladdin Sane) and David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Takezawa Toji” (Diamond Dogs) officially enter the British Museum’s collection
British Museum, London, UK

・Jun 2018
Announces third collaboration Ukiyo-e with David Bowie
BOOKMARC, Tokyo, Japan

・Dec 2016
Announces second collaboration Ukiyo-e with Iron Maiden

・Jul 2016
French Paper Gallery, Paris, France

・Apr 2016
Portraying Today Ukiyo-e Exhibition
Grand Front Osaka, Osaka, Japan

・Feb 2016
KISS x Ukiyo-e Exhibition
Morrison Hotel Gallery (Sunset Marquis Hotel), Los Angeles, CA

・Feb 2015
Announces first collaboration Ukiyo-e with KISS

・Jun 2014
Yuka Mitsui launches UKIYO-E PROJECT