Wooden photographs ”Mokuzogan wood inlay artist, Haruo Uchiyama”

Wooden photographs
”Mokuzogan wood inlay artist, Haruo Uchiyama”

A Kabuki actor drawn with ”Mokuzogan” wood inlay

Haruo Uchiyama, who is also famous for bird carvings, has produced many pictures of birds created with ”Mokuzogan” wood inlay method. But right now, he is infatuated with ”Ukiyo-e”.
He told us he especially would like to express today’s Kabuki actors with ”Mokuzogan” wood inlay.” Pictures of Edo Kabuki actors remain as Ukiyo-e. They were photographs of that time. Now, with the development of photography, there are no ”drawings” of them. So, I would like to use ”Mokuzougan” wood inlay to express present day Kabuki actors in Ukiyo-e format.

The Mokuzogan Ukiyo-e of kabuki actors which Uchiyama talks about is precise version of the ”bromide” itself.
This is because by fitting wood pieces into a thick wooden board and carving it out with a large plane, you can produce many pieces of the same work.
”In order to do that, I must put in the wood straight. Usually, with Mokuzogan, the wooden pieces are embedded at a slant, but I must put them in vertically.”
He draws by embedding the wood for each strand of the actors’ hair. The precision is mind boggling.

Combining the pieces precisely

Uchiyama was creating a name plate in commemoration of Nakata’s visit.
Nakata helped with the work.
It was difficult to use the fret saw to cut out his name in accordance with the design.
Having Uchiyama help him, he managed to finish the work.
After putting a lot of strength into the plane, a picture was completed.
A name plate with the name ”Hidetoshi Nakata” with a soccer ball.

Uchiyama announced ”This is it!”, and handed Nakata a wooden business card holder with the name plate pasted on it.
”It’s amazing that this is made of wood. It’s hard to imagine.” Nakata commented. That is how precise and detailed the finished work was.


Mokuzogan wood inlay artist Haruo Uchiyama
Abiko, Chiba