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Shin-Bijutsukai: 60 Free Vintage Japanese Art Designs

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

The late 1800s and early 1900s, a period marked by a beautiful turn of the century, introduced the world to a new monthly magazine of various designs known as Shin-Bijutsukai. This Japanese design magazine became a cornerstone for showcasing the most important woodblock print designers of the time, including the revered Meiji painter and designer Korin Furuya.

Shin-Bijutsukai was a magazine and a celebration of vintage Japanese print art featuring original woodblock prints that served as a window into the rich tapestry of Japanese culture.

The Cultural Impact of Shin-Bijutsukai

Shin-Bijutsukai magazine, flourishing in the early 1900s, showcases a treasure trove of vintage Japanese art prints. These prints included designs of the best artists of the time and capture the essence of Japanese life—encompassing everything from serene gardens and bustling shops to delicate fabric and traditional paper designs. The magazine’s pages are filled with designs that reflect the influences of the time, including hints of Art Nouveau, making them timeless pieces of wall art.

Woodblock prints, a significant design element in Shin-Bijutsukai, highlight the intricate beauty of Japanese artists’ work. Among these, the contributions of Kono Bairei, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and Helen Hyde stand out, showcasing the diverse styles and themes explored in Japanese woodblock printing.

This art form has profoundly impacted Western art and design, introducing design elements that blend traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern sensibilities.

The Shin-Bijutsukai design magazine goes beyond being a mere collection of vintage prints; it reflects the Japanese spirit and its deep connection with nature and the seasons. This connection is evident in Japanese design’s geometric and floral patterns, where shapes and colors carry profound cultural meanings. The magazine acts as a bridge, connecting the past with the present and offering the best designs that continue to inspire artists and designers worldwide.

A Resource for Today’s Creatives

Beyond its historical and cultural significance, Shin-Bijutsukai is an invaluable resource for contemporary designers and artists. From textile designers to illustrators and graphic designers, the magazine’s pages offer a wealth of inspiration that can be transformed into modern applications such as wallpaper, gift wrap, or even as part of a gallery wall.

For those looking to bring a piece of vintage Japanese culture into their homes, Shin-Bijutsukai directly links to high-quality, original woodblock prints that can easily be printed and framed, adding a touch of elegance and history to any space.

Old Japanese Art Prints

How To Download The Shin-Bijutsukai Designs

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 1-10

1. Trees & Flowers Purple Background

This vintage Japanese print from the Shin-Bijutsukai. Blossom flowers with a purple sky background.

Japanese Art Prints

2. Mount Fuji Pink Skies

This looks like Mount Fuji with cherry blossoms, two classic symbols of Japanese culture.

3. Birds and Blue

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

Shin-Bijutsukai. These graphic flowers look like parasols.

vintage japanese art from Shin-bijutsukai

5. Stars on Orange

Vintage Japanese art print of stars on an orange background.

Stars on Orange

6. Blossom on Blue

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.

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. Four colourful circles of nature on a blue and blossom background.

Shin-bijutsukai vintage art print

10. Pink Roses

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

Pink roses

Woodblock Prints 11-20

11. Green Arcs and Hexagons

A regular pattern from the Shin-Bijutsukai magazine.

Shin-bijutsukai page 78

12. Geometric Butterflies

Geometric butterflies.

Shin-bijutsukai vintage Japanese prints

13. Bamboo Forest – Shin-Bijutsukai

Shin-bijutsukai print

14. Hill Forest

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

vintage japanese print

15. Geometric Leaves and Butterflies

A geometric pattern of butterflies and leaves.

Geometric leaves and butterflies

16. River and Flowers

River and Flowers

17. Pattern on yellow bamboo background

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

Shin-Bijutsukai Designs 21-30

21. Flowers on Blue Check Background

Blue check background

22. Blossom and Patterned Flowers

A very colorful and busy print of blossom and flower patterns.

Blossom and patterned flowers

23. Two Flower Patterns

2 flower patterns

24. Animal Collage

Animal Collage

25. Butterflies – Shin-Bijutsukai magazine

Butterflies

26. Leaves Pattern

A colorful Japanese print of leaves and blossom.

Leaves Pattern

27. Swirl Pattern

Abstract flower print.

Swirls

28. Flowers on Netting

Flowers on netting

29. Flowers on Hexagons

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

Woodblock Design Prints 31-40

31. Multicolored Balls

A more abstract Japanese illustration from Shin-Bijutsukai.

Multicolored balls

32. Japanese Landscape Illustration

Vintage Japanese illustration of landscape

33. Blue Leaves

Blue leaves

34. Blossom on Blue

A vintage illustration of blossom flowers on a bright blue background.

Check out this easy blossom drawing tutorial.

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 kimono from branch.

Hanging cloth

38. Abstract Blossom

Multicolored blossom abstract.

Abstract blossom

39. Blue Leaves Outline

Blue outline flowers leaves

40. Multicolored Butterflies

A pretty illustration of multicolored butterflies.

Multicolored butterflies

Woodblock Designs 41-50

41. Pink Blossom

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

46: Green Leaves

I think this woodblock print is that of green leaves on branches.

green leaves on branches Japanese woodcut from Shin Bijutsukai

47. Bamboo Leaves

A close up design print of bamboo leaves in various green hues.

Close up bamboo leaves Vintage Japanese art

48. Poppy Seed Heads

This is a pattern of various poppy seed pods.

Poppy seed head pattern from the shin Bijutsukai

49: Trees and Rainbow Leaves

trees and rainbow leaves Shin Bijutsukai magazine print

50. Cranes and Swirls

Abstract design from the vintage Japanese magazine of cranes, hexagons and swirls.

Cranes hexagons and swirls Japanese abstract woodblock print

Japanese Pattern Designs 51-60

51: Blossom Patterns

Blossom patterns Shin Bijutsukai

52: Botanical Pattern

Botanical pattern on a green background.

botanical pattern Japanese woodcut design

53. Fragmented Blossom

Fragmented blossom shapes with chevrons on green.

fragmented blossom chevron vintage Japanese pattern

54. Pink Vine Flowers

Pink Flowers Vine

Print 55: Blue Spirals and Waves

Japanese pattern of blue spirals and waves

Print 56. Geometric Leaves and Flowers

Geometric Leaves and flowers Shin Bijutsukai

57. Double Pattern Waves

Some of the pages in the Shin Bijutsukai magazine contain double patterns, like this one of geometric trees and blue spiral waves.

double pattern from the Shin Bijutsukai magazine

58. Botanical Border Patterns

botanical border vintage Japanese patterns

59. Double Pattern Ships

Another double pattern this one of bamboo and ships.

Vintage Japanese woodblock pattern of Ships and bamboo

60. Blue Blob Yellow Dots

Vintage japanese pattern from the Shin Bijutsukai blue blobs yellow dots

Other Japanese Design Collections

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, the polychrome ornaments of Albert Racinet and the interior floral designs of William Morris.

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

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 peonies, chrysanthemums, plum blossoms, yulan flowers, lotuses, and Chinese roses in their floral design.

Japanese art often reflects Japan’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.

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. I’ve even used them to make some beautiful air dry clay ornaments.

For more woodblock prints check out this collection of Japanese fish.

free_vintage_Japanese_design_prints

If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.

Terrie

Friday 3rd of May 2024

I love your prints, however when I go to print only about half the print shows? Doesn't download the whole print. Thank you!

claire

Sunday 5th of May 2024

Can you let me know which one that happens with and I’ll take a look?

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.

claire

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.

Juju

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

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

claire

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!

claire

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

claire

Saturday 13th of August 2022

You're welcome, glad you like them.