Uchida Publishing



The Uchida Art Company was founded in 1919 in Kyoto as Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi (Uchida Art and Book Shop).[1] This art bookstore was also a print publisher specializing in shin hanga prints from Kansai region artists and ukiyo-e reprints. One of its most famous artists was Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000). Other artists published by Uchida were Hasegawa Sadanobu III (1881-1963), Itō Nisaburō (1905-2001), Kotozuka Eiichi (1906-1979), Asada Benji (1899-1984) and Takeshita Kin'u 竹下金烏 (?-?).

Uchida Art abandoned their website some time ago, possibly as early as 2005. It appears that their only ongoing operation is a sales outlet in Kyoto at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, located at 3F Kumanojinja-Higashi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. Their shop in Tokyo at Sukiyabashi Center Ginza 5, Cho-ku, Tokyo appears to no longer be in operation. For a quite a few years, the company has been selling off their archive of remaining prints.

Uchida's now defunct website (URL: http://www.e-loec.com/uchida/ukiyoe.html) provided the following history of the company:

Founded in 1919. Since then we have been producing traditional crafts, such as painted screens, scrolls and woodblock prints, and endeavored to preserve the skills needed for these traditional works. These skills have been passed down through many generations. Expert craftsmen learn their skills through many years of apprenticeship, and then pass them to the next generation.

These crafts have become world famous, but the skills to make them are in danger of dying out. Even in this age of advanced technology, machines cannot replace these traditional skills.

To prevent these skills from disappearing, we are trying to inform more people about the beauty and wonder of traditional Japanese crafts, especially woodblock prints. We look forward to sharing with you the beauty created by traditional skill.

Their only online presence is now on the website of the Kyoto Handicrafts Center

https://store.kyotohandicraftcenter.com/en-us/collections/uchida-art [accessed 3-14-24] which provides the following background information. 



Uchida art was established in 1923.

Started at an antiquarian bookshop in Kyoto.

In 1942, designated by the government as a qualified preserver of woodblock printing techniques.

During the war (1941-1945), it was difficult to publish, but in 1945, Uchida Art Publisher was restored.

In 1967, the company name was changed to Uchida Art Co. Ltd.

<After the war, it gained popularity among military personnel.>

After the end of the war, it was recognized for its true value by military personnel from the occupying forces, and its distribution gradually expanded to include sales at U.S. military bases (PX) and eventually reached the United States and Europe. We made significant efforts to truly understand the preferences of foreigners and, alongside that, demonstrated the manufacturing process of woodblock prints to attract more foreign companions. These efforts were aimed at promoting the export of woodblock prints from our country.

<Publications and their characteristics >

They worked with many artists such as Tokuriki Tomikichirō, Kamei Tōbei, Asano Takeji, and Asada Benji in Kyoto and also engaged in the reproduction of ukiyo-e prints. The woodblock prints published by Uchida Art have been researched to cater to the preferences of foreigners, with rich colors and meticulous attention to detail in their depiction.

[1] The now defunct website of Uchida http://e-loec.com/uchida/ukiyoe.html gave the founding date of Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi 內田美術書肆 as 1919 as does Andreas Marks in "Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, Hotei Publishing, 2011, p. 558. The Kyoto Handicrafts Center gives the founding date as 1923 https://store.kyotohandicraftcenter.com/en-us/collections/uchida-art [accessed 3-14-24]. The earliest publication attributed to Uchida Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi on WorldCat is 1924.

Seals, Signatures and Marks

内田版元Uchida hanmoto 

うちだ版Uchida han 

Seen on Uchida published postcard 

内田版Uchida han 


Uchida han copyright

版元 うちだ

Hanmoto Uchida

版元 うちだ

Hanmoto Uchida

内田版Uchida han 

Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi han


(Uchida Fine Art Shop)

On Japanese Woodblock Printing by Uchida Art Company Ltd. 

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