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".

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

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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

・『Actor Portrait Prints Exhibition』
(Liquor Museum/1989)

・『Theatrical Play Toys Prints』
(Tobacco & Salt Museum・Osaka City Museum/1995)

・『Kabuki in Ukiyo-e 』
(Tobacco & Salt Museum/1996)

・『Rakugo in Ukiyo-e』
(Tobacco & Salt Museum/2001)

・『4 Year Anniversary Ukiyo-e Exhibition』
(Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum/2004)

・『Kunishige Exhibition』
(Tokyo Station Gallery/2004~2005)

・『150th Anniversary of Yokosuka Port Opening "Yokohama Ukiyo-e"』
(Yokohama Takashima-ya/2009)

・『Yoshu Chikanobu Exhibition』
(Hiraki Ukiyo-e Museum/2012)

・『Ukiyo-e Floating World』
(Mitsubishi Museum/2013)

・『150th Anniversary of Kunisada Utagawa's death』
(Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art/2014)



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 2014 UKIYO-E PROJECT founded

Feb 2015  Announced 1st collaboration Ukiyo-e with KISS

Feb 2016 Ukiyo-e Exhibition @ Morrison Hotel Gallery in Sunset Marquis Hotel, Los Angeles

Apr 2016 Portraying Today Ukiyo-e Exhibition @ Grand Front Osaka

Jul 2016  Ukiyo-e Exhibition @ French Paper Gallery in Paris

Dec 2016  Announced 2nd collaboration Ukiyo-e with IRON MAIDEN

Jun 2018 Announced 3rd collaboration Ukiyo-e with David Bowie


Jul 2018 Both David Bowie Ukiyo-e, “David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Kidomaru” (Aladdin Sane) Ukiyo-e” and

“David Bowie Shapeshifting Comparison “Takezawa Toji” (Diamond Dogs) Ukiyo-e”, officially became part of

the British Museum’s collection