History of ukiyo-e    Print Sizes    How prints are made    Artists Biographies    History of Manga Comics    Geisha Exhibition 1   Geisha Exhibition 2  
Japanese prints sizes

Japanese woodblock prints have been traditionally made in specific sizes and formats based on the typical dimensions of Japanese handmade paper called o-bosho. There is no exact standard for a large o-bosho sheet since papermakers used slightly different recipes and moulds. (approximate is 53 cm x 39 cm.)

The various formats of Japanese prints were cut from a piece of o-bosho sheet to reduce. The most common print size was the oban format (which used half of a large o-bosho sheet). The orientation of the prints are denoted by the terms tate-e ('vertical picture) and yoko-e (horizaontal picture).

 Print size size (cm) size (in) notes
 oban 26.5 x 39 10.7 x 15.6 1/2o-bosho sheet
 chuban 19.5 x 26.5 7.5 x 10.7 1/2oban size
 yotsugiri 19.5 x 13.25 7.5 x 5.8 1/2chuban size
 chutansaku ban 39 x 13.25 15.6 x 5.8 narrow format similar to hosoban
 otansaku ban 39 x 17.6 15.6 x 6.7 1/3 o-bosho sheet
 choban 19.5 x 53 7.5 x 20.7 1/2 of o-bosho sheet
 kokonotsugiri ban 13 x 17.6 5.1 x 6.7 1/9 of o-bosho sheet
 shikishi ban 19.5 x 17.6 7.5 x 6.7 square format, also known as kukuban
 diptych ... ... obanprints placed horizontally together
 triptych ... ... oban prints placed horizontally together
 pentatych ... ... oban prints placed horizontally together
 
   
  Oban  
  (Approximately 26.5cm x 39cm)
Below is an example of o-ban vertical and o-ban horizontal. Oban is made by cutting a piece of Obosho vertically (see top image).
It was the most commonly used format.
 
 
Click for full information
£ 150
Click for full information
£ 330