Unsodo was founded in 1891 as a publishing house
with a focus on art.
Yamada Naosaburø, the founder, received vital training
and experience working at Kyoto’s venerable Bunkyüdo
bookstore. Upon declaring his independence, he opened
Unsødø at its current location, Teramachi/Nijo. In 1918,
Unsodo opened a branch shop in Tokyo.
The scholar/artist Tomioka Tessai created the shop name,
believing that since plants are vital to the production of
books,placing the plant character “so” in the center of the
name would ensure the success of Unsodo books.
Since its founding,there has been a steady stream of art
related publications, including traditional copybook “gafu”,
progressive school instruction books, “zuan” pattern books,
ukiyo-e prints, photo collections and art study works.
In addition to woodblock printed works, Unsodo has created
works in other media: lithographic, collotype,and full-color
publications devoted to the fine arts and applied arts.
Unsodo is especially noted for its continuing publication of
such masterpieces of book art as Katsushika Hokusai’s
Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji, and his Hokusai Manga, as well
as such 20th
century classics as Kamisaka Sekka’s
The possession of tens of thousands of original wood
blocks establishes Unsodo as the authentic publisher of
its woodblock rinted books. ven now, the look and feel
of woodblock printed books is uniquely appealing, and
Unsodo publications are Japan’s most authoritative.
Despite the prevalence of modern developments in offset
and digital printing, Unsodo, together with the dedicated
block carvers and printers of Kyoto, are pleased and proud
to carry on the traditional woodblock printing of books and