Moku Hanga Woodcuts
"Moku hanga", Japanese for "wood print", is the traditional Japanese technique of water-based wood block printing. This method was developed in China for currency and book publishing centuries ago, but was refined to its zenith as an art form in Japan during the Edo Period (1603 - 1867) by artists such as Hiroshige and Hokusai.
The technique uses separate blocks for each color that is printed. Each block is carved by hand, based on a key print, printed from a key block. Marks in the key block, called "kento", allow paper to be slipped onto each block in perfect registration.
Water based ink is applied by hand directly onto the blocks with brushes, traditionally made of boar hair and bamboo. The print is then burnished with a "barren" - a palm-sized disk, traditionally made of layers of braided bamboo leaf fiber.