The UKIYO-E PROJECT creates new original contemporary Ukiyo-e artwork that connects “Edo and Modern”, “Japan and the World”, and “Traditional Techniques and Entertainment”.
Our mission is to preserve and pass down this amazing Edo-era Ukiyo-e woodblock printing technique by creating new markets and demand.
・Mitsui Agency International, Inc.
Established in 2014 at Los Angeles as a group company of Mitsui Agency, musical talent agency based in Tokyo since 1995. Mitsui Agency International and focuses to act as bridge between Japan and the United States in music and Ukiyo-e industry.
Yuka Mitsui President/CEO
11845 W Olympic Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90064
・Mitsui Music, Inc.
Established in 2006, Mitsui Music manages copyrights and master license of the singers. Mitsui Music has been producing merchandise for the artists as well as promotional novelty goods for the record companies. Contracted directly with overseas manufacturers, Mitsui Music now produces OEM jewelry for various Japanese artists’ brands as well. In 2014, started UKIYO-E PROJECT with Mitsui Agency International in Los Angeles.
Kensei Mitsui President/CEO
1-26-18 Tomioka, Tazaki Bldg 3F
Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-0047
Ukiyo-e is a Japanese traditional woodblock print. Moreover, since the 18th century, all-color "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 "hand 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>
Tokyo University of Science Department of Mathematics graduate (Set Theory major)
Tokyo Polytechnic University Graduate School lecturer ("Early modern Japanese Art History Advance Course" "Art Science Advance Course exercises")
Kanagawa University Open Lecture Lecturer ("Ukiyo-e", "Rakugo", "Mathematics")
Kabuki-za Calendar- "Kabuki Egoyomi", in charge of planning, configuration and explanation on an annual basis
International Ukiyo-e Society- Executive Director
24th Uchiyama Award (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".
About 6 years ago, someone mentioned to me that he wanted to create Ukiyo-e goods.
He explained to me the making of Ukiyo-e. As a metal carver myself, I was very intrigued by the painstaking process of three different parts and tools they use. I was amazed, or almost shocked to hear an episode that a carver split a hair into ten with his chisel! Although you may already know, even the master painter, Van Gogh, copied Hiroshige Ukiyo-e. Ukiyo-e significantly influenced modern European painters with its perspective composition and extraordinary use of color like painting rain in black.
Nowadays, I think, our society is filled with “new things” sprouting out one after another. Unfortunately we seem to be just floating along the current, seeing them, using them, and getting bored with them quickly and repeatedly. I started wondering if there was some value in it.
I was coincidently reading a book called “Koke no Musumade” when I first met the Ukiyo-e person. In the book, there’s a phrase saying, “In my mind, the oldest things would become the newest things.” It inspired and realized me that the truly invaluable beauty has existed since ancient. At this time, Ukiyo-e came into my mind. For me, the beauty was Ukiyo-e that I have forgotten about for a long time since seeing it in the school text book. Then I also started rethinking about my own identity as ‘Japanese.’ Both the book and Ukiyo-e also made me rethink about my own identity as Japanese. I want to spread our proud Ukiyo-e into the world. This became my mission. Today in Japan, there are so few successors that the Japan’s traditional art technology from Edo feudal era may die out soon if we don’t take an action. I am determined to make artful and affordable pieces of Ukiyo-e through the project, create more job to sustain the industry, and let the world know the wonder of Japan’s traditional art.
Yuka Mitsui C.E.O.
Mitsui Agency International
More about the artisans
Got ideas for a Ukiyo-e? Any questions?? Would you like to collaborate with us… Nothing is too crazy.
We would like to hear from you.