JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTING
Printmaking technology helped propel scientific learning and collaboration forward by providing a quick method for the replication and sharing of knowledge.
This printed page was taken from an antique Japanese science book from the late Edo period through early Meiji, ranging from 1850–1892. The subjects covered in these pages include botany, architecture, biology, and physics.
Japanese woodblock printing began in the 8th century as a means to disseminate information through a printmaking process also known as mokuhanga (木版画). This process is similar to woodcut in Western printmaking, except that it uses water-based inks instead of oil-based inks.
The process begins by the design being transferred to a thin piece of close-grained wood. The wood is then carved away around the design to make a negative. Ink is then brushed or rolled onto the wood, with a paper being pressed onto the inked wood. This process was largely used for printing educational texts. But it was also used as a means to produce artwork.
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