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 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.
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.
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.
4. Flower Parasols
Page 30 of Shin-Bijutsukai. These graphic flowers look like parasols.
5. Shin-Bijutsukai page 34
Vintage Japanese art print of stars on an orange background.
6. Blossom on Blue – (Vintage Japanese Print 38)
This art print looks like blossom on blue waves, another 2 classic Japanese symbols.
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.
8. Blossom on Black
From page 44, this print of blossom on black reminds me of the designs you get on fancy origami paper.
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.
10. Pink Roses – page 46
This vintage Japanese art print looks almost Chinese in style with pink roses on a pale green background.
11. Green Arcs and Hexagons
A regular pattern from page 78 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.
12. Geometric Butterflies
Page 80 of the magazine, geometric butterflies.
13. Bamboo Forest – Shin-Bijutsukai
From page 81 of the Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.
14. Hill Forest
Vintage Japanese art print form page 85 of pine trees on the hill side.
15. Geometric Leaves and Butterflies
A geometric pattern of butterflies and leaves from page 91.
16. River and Flowers
From page 97 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.
17. Pattern on yellow bamboo background
Vintage Japanese print from page 106 from the magazine.
18. White Flowers On Blue
19. Blue Ducks
The blue images on this print from the magazine look like ducks to me.
20. Flowers on Dark Blue Background
21. Flowers on Blue Check Background
Vintage print from page 128 of Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.
22. Blossom and Patterned Flowers
A very colorful and busy print of blossom and flower patterns from page 135 of the magazine.
23. Two Flower Patterns
Print from page 154 of the magazine.
24. Animal Collage
This print is from page 158 of the magazine.
25. Butterflies – Shin-Bijutsukai magazine
26. Leaves Pattern
A colorful Japanese print of leaves and blossom, from page 161 of the magazine.
27. Swirl Pattern
Abstract flower print from page 165.
28. Flowers on Netting
This colorful Japanese art print is from page 185.
29. Flowers on Hexagons
This vintage illustration is from page 204 of the Japanese magazine.
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”.
31. Multicolored Balls
A more abstract Japanese illustration from page 214 of the magazine, Shin-Bijutsukai.
32. Japanese Landscape Illustration
Vintage Japanese landscape image from page 216 of the magazine.
33. Blue Leaves (page 238)
34. Blossom on Blue
A vintage illustration of blossom flowers on a bright blue background (page 255).
35. Peony on Blue
The red flower on this Japanese graphic print look like a peony to me.
36. Butterflies and Hydrangeas
The flowers in this illustration, look like hydrangeas to me.
37. Hanging Cloth
Hanging cloth from branch page 258 from Shin-bijutsukai magazine.
38. Abstract Blossom
Multicolored blossom abstract illustration from page 283.
39. Blue Leaves Outline
Print from page 301 of the magazine.
40. Multicolored Butterflies
A pretty illustration of multicolored butterflies from page 307.
41. Pink Blossom
Another pretty Japanese illustration from page 315 of the magazine.
42. White Flowers on Diamond Background
43. Colored Leaves on Stripes
44. Pink and White Flowers
45. Vintage Japanese Art Prints – 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.
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.
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.
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.