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Bokashi (Japanese: ぼかし) is a technique used in Japanese woodblock printmaking. It achieves a variation in lightness and darkness (value) of a single color by hand applying a gradation of ink to a moistened wooden printing block, rather than inking the block uniformly. This hand-application had to be repeated for each sheet of paper that was printed.

The best-known examples of bokashi are the shadings of a color often used by Hiroshige on landscape prints to depict the sky at the top of the print.

References

  • Newland, Amy Reigle, The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, Amsterdam, Hotei Publishing, 2005, Vol. 2, 424.

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