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45 Free Old Japanese Art Prints From The Shin-Bijutsukai

Inside: Vintage Japanese prints, illustrations and art from the Shin-Bijutsukai. All are free to print and in the Public Domain.

The Shin-Bijutsukai was a turn-of-the-century (1901-1902) design magazine full of vintage Japanese art prints.

The beautiful designs in the magazine were from the best Japanese artists at the time.  All the prints are original Japanese woodblock prints.  They reflected aspects of Japanese life from everyday surroundings, homes, gardens, shops, fabric, paper, etc.

Another great example of Japanese woodblock prints is those of Kono Bairei, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Helen Hyde.

Even though the vintage prints are from the turn of the century, some can appear contemporary and modern.  Japanese style has greatly influenced Western art and design, especially Japanese woodblock printing.

Many of the Japanese art prints in Shin-Bijutsukai are a reflection of nature and the seasons. The celebration of spirit and the seasons is deeply ingrained into Japanese culture. Hence, these elements have a significant influence on the Japanese design aesthetic. 

Japanese design is also very geometric, because shapes have much deeper, cultural meanings.

Floral patterns also abound in Japanese design. Hanakotoba is the study of flowers and how each flower has a spiritual meaning. According to Japanese tradition, pink symbolizes healing, red symbolizes love, and white symbolizes virtue.

Old Japanese Art Prints

Comparison of Japanese Art and Chinese Art

In the past, I have curated a collection of traditional Chinese patterns. There are some similarities between Chinese and Japanese Art. They both love to reflect nature and use flowers in their designs.

The Japanese focus on cherry blossoms, camellia, hydrangea, and chrysanthemum flowers. The Chinese use more peony, chrysanthemum, plum blossom, yulan flower, lotus, and Chinese rose in their floral design.

Many Japanese art prints feature pine trees, bamboo, evergreen and maple tree in their design. Chinese artist uses the same trees but also commonly feature the willow tree.

Japanese art often reflects the country’s geography with volcanoes and snowy mountains like the iconic Mount Fuji. These famous vistas can be seen in the collection of Japanese travel posters. In comparison, the mountains in Chinese artworks are rockier and rugged.

There is also a difference in the feel between both arts. Chinese art is meticulous, fine detail, and lots of small brushwork. Japanese art is almost the opposite, with large bold brushes being used in a sweeping and loose style.

If thinking about both art styles in terms of Western Art, Chinese art feels more classical or romantic. Traditional Japanese art feels more like impressionist and expressionist art.

There are more Japanese vintage prints here.

Printing From The Shin-Bijutsukai

These images can be a reference resource for surface pattern designers such as textile designers, illustrators, graphic designers, and other artists. I think some of the prints would look fabulous as wallpaper or gift wrap.

These pages from Shin-Bijutsukai would also look lovely printed and framed in a gallery wall.

To download the Japanese art print that you want from the magazine, click on the title above that print, and a large image should open as a new tab in your browser.

This image can be printed straight from your home printer or sent to an online print shop.

If printing from home, I recommend using high-quality printer paper, either matte photo paper or, for a more artistic feel, you can buy watercolour paper for inkjet printers. Make sure you go into your printer’s advanced menu settings and choose the highest-quality print option.

(By the way, there is another collection of similar Japanese-style art prints by Watanabe Seitei from the Bijutsu Sekai art magazine.)

The Shin-Bijutsukai Design Prints

1. Trees & Flowers Purple Background

This vintage Japanese print is from page 10 of Shin-Bijutsukai. Blossom flowers with a purple sky background.

Japanese Art Prints

2. Mount Fuji Pink Skies

Print from page 19 of Shin-Bijutsukai. This looks like Mount Fuji with blossom two classic symbols of Japanese culture.

3. Birds and Blue

Page 29 of the magazine. The blue looks like waves but I’m not sure that is what they represent.

With Japan being made up of over 6000 islands and over 400 inhabited, it’s not surprising that the sea and waves feature in much vintage Japanese art.

Shin-bijutsukai print

4. Flower Parasols

Page 30 of Shin-Bijutsukai. These graphic flowers look like parasols.

vintage japanese art from Shin-bijutsukai

5. Shin-Bijutsukai page 34

Vintage Japanese art print of stars on an orange background.

Stars on Orange

6. Blossom on Blue – (Vintage Japanese Print 38)

This art print looks like blossom on blue waves, another 2 classic Japanese symbols.

Vintage Japanese prints

7. Vintage Art Print Pink Flowers

This is a regular pattern print of pink flowers on a green background. The Japanese art print is from page 41 of Shin-Bijutsukai.

Shin-bijutsukai print 41

8. Blossom on Black

From page 44, this print of blossom on black reminds me of the designs you get on fancy origami paper.

White blossom on black

9. Color Nature Circles

I love the colours in this print from page 45 of the magazine. Four colourful circles of nature on a blue and blossom background.

Shin-bijutsukai vintage art print

10. Pink Roses – page 46

This vintage Japanese art print looks almost Chinese in style with pink roses on a pale green background.

Pink roses

11. Green Arcs and Hexagons

A regular pattern from page 78 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.

Shin-bijutsukai page 78

12. Geometric Butterflies

Page 80 of the magazine, geometric butterflies.

Shin-bijutsukai vintage Japanese prints

13. Bamboo Forest – Shin-Bijutsukai

From page 81 of the Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.

Shin-bijutsukai print

14. Hill Forest

Vintage Japanese art print form page 85 of pine trees on the hill side.

vintage japanese print

15. Geometric Leaves and Butterflies

A geometric pattern of butterflies and leaves from page 91.

Geometric leaves and butterflies

16. River and Flowers

From page 97 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.

River and Flowers

17. Pattern on yellow bamboo background

Vintage Japanese print from page 106 from the magazine.

Pattern on yellow bamboo background

18. White Flowers On Blue

White Flowers on blue

19. Blue Ducks

The blue images on this print from the magazine look like ducks to me.

Blue ducks

20. Flowers on Dark Blue Background

Flowers on Black

21. Flowers on Blue Check Background

Vintage print from page 128 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.

Blue check background

22. Blossom and Patterned Flowers

A very colorful and busy print of blossom and flower patterns from page 135 of the magazine.

Blossom and patterned flowers

23. Two Flower Patterns

Print from page 154 of the magazine.

2 flower patterns

24. Animal Collage

This print is from page 158 of the magazine.

Animal Collage

25. Butterflies – Shin-Bijutsukai magazine


26. Leaves Pattern

A colorful Japanese print of leaves and blossom, from page 161 of the magazine.

Leaves Pattern

27. Swirl Pattern

Abstract flower print from page 165.


28. Flowers on Netting

This colorful Japanese art print is from page 185.

Flowers on netting

29. Flowers on Hexagons

This vintage illustration is from page 204 of the Japanese magazine.

Flowers on Hexagons

30. Cranes

Cranes are another important symbol in Japanese art. For the Japanese, the crane represents good fortune and longevity. They refer to the crane as the “bird of happiness”.

Shin-bijutsukai vintage art print of cranes

31. Multicolored Balls

A more abstract Japanese illustration from page 214 of the magazine, Shin-Bijutsukai.

Multicolored balls

32. Japanese Landscape Illustration

Vintage Japanese landscape image from page 216 of the magazine.

Vintage Japanese illustration of landscape

33. Blue Leaves (page 238)

Blue leaves

34. Blossom on Blue

A vintage illustration of blossom flowers on a bright blue background (page 255).

Blossom on blue

35. Peony on Blue

The red flower on this Japanese graphic print look like a peony to me.

Red Peony Japanese illustrations

36. Butterflies and Hydrangeas

The flowers in this illustration, look like hydrangeas to me.

Shin-bijutsukai print

37. Hanging Cloth

Hanging cloth from branch page 258 from Shin-bijutsukai magazine.

Hanging cloth

38. Abstract Blossom

Multicolored blossom abstract illustration from page 283.

Abstract blossom

39. Blue Leaves Outline

Print from page 301 of the magazine.

Blue outline flowers leaves

40. Multicolored Butterflies

A pretty illustration of multicolored butterflies from page 307.

Multicolored butterflies

41. Pink Blossom

Another pretty Japanese illustration from page 315 of the magazine.

Pink Cherry blossom

42. White Flowers on Diamond Background

Vintage Japanese graphics

43. Colored Leaves on Stripes

colored leaves on stripes

44. Pink and White Flowers

Pink and white flowers

45. Vintage Japanese Art Prints – Pink Vase

Pink Vase

If you enjoyed these prints, you would probably like the vintage Art Nouveau flower prints on the site. Or the wonderful colourful pattern prints from Owen Jones’s Grammar of Ornament and the interior floral designs of William Morris. More wonderful prints are here if you are interested in colour and pattern charts.

More vintage floral pattern designs can be found here. And you might want to check out these vintage Japanese Iris paintings.


For more wonderful vintage Japanese designs check out the polychrome ornaments of Albert Racinet, and the printable art and design on the site.

If like me and you love all things Japanese then you should check out these interesting and colorful old maps of Japan.

These papers would be great for origami and you can find some ideas here. They would also be good for decoupage for example with these DIY tile coasters and planters.

Jill Hardy

Thursday 2nd of February 2023

I have been collecting kimonos for years and now have enough to sell but would love the history behind each era as well as their inspiration. I would love to help to educate people about their purpose, beauty and enduring artistry. Such an inspiration which inspired me to try to at least preserve what I could. I love them. Please send any information that you can. Greatly appreciated in advance. I am obsessed with their originality as well as their beauty which has withstood time. Thank you so very much for your time.


Thursday 2nd of February 2023

Thank you, that sounds like an interesting collection. I may do a post on Kimonos soon, the silk patterns are lovely.


Sunday 22nd of January 2023

You made my day, thanks for this beautiful present!!


Sunday 22nd of January 2023

Aww, that’s lovely to hear.

Lela Friel

Sunday 11th of December 2022

Thank You for sharing these gorgeous Japanese prints!


Sunday 11th of December 2022

You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed them.

sue bowen

Friday 12th of August 2022

Thank you for sharing these beautiful deigns


Saturday 13th of August 2022

You're welcome, glad you like them.


Saturday 30th of April 2022

Oh goodness! These are simply divine! The artwork is so delicate and stunningly beautiful I am so happy you have shared these. Much love!


Monday 2nd of May 2022

Thank you, you're welcome.