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Ukiyo-e Heroes: video-game characters as samurai

Ukiyo-e is a centuries-old style of Japanese woodblock prints; in recent years, the style and techniques have enjoyed a resurgence. Now, illustrator Jed Henry is applying it ... to video games.

Ukiyo-e is a centuries-old style of Japanese woodblock prints; in recent years, the style and techniques have enjoyed a resurgence. Now, illustrator Jed Henry is applying it ... to video games.

Link and Epona in Ukiyo-e style (Credit: Jed Henry)

Indiana-born artist Henry has created a series called "Ukiyo-e Heroes" — Japanese video-game protagonists re-imagined as Ukiyo-e samurai — and they look amazing.

Starting on 1 August, Henry will be selling prints of his Mario Kart image, carved by woodblock printer David Bull, via Kickstarter for US$125. Proceeds go towards supporting Bull's apprentices.

British-born Bull, who works out of Japan, uses traditional methods of Japanese woodblock printing, or moku hanga, and has become one of the most revered practitioners of the craft today.

Poster prints (giclee on mulberry paper) will also be available for US$40 for the first print, and US$35 for every subsequent print.

If you want one of these works of art, you can pre-order by emailing Henry at thejedhenry@gmail.com, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page or his Tumblr.

Also, you can check out some videos of Bull carving the woodblock here.

It's super effective! (Credit: Jed Henry)
Mario Kart (Credit: Jed Henry)