Signing and dating art prints
The technique has even been adopted by an international community of artists worldwide who appreciate Japanese tools, materials and methods as a true and original method to create art prints.
But you can recognize them usually quite easily by their gaudy, strong colors and often by the subjects like Japanese people in Western uniforms or the display of Western technical "achievements" like locomotives. It was a renaissance of the old Japanese woodblock printmaking with a bit of Western modernization like the use of perspective and the use of the effects of shadow and light which the Japanese had learned from the French impressionists.
These prints can be everything in technique and subject.
There is a huge diversity with great and fantastic artists to discover.
The most confusing thing for art friends who come into contact with Japanese prints for the first time, is the missing concept, or I should better say non-concept, of precise marking and identification of Japanese prints. The Japanese regarded woodblocks as a kind of copy machine - only limited by the wearing off of the blocks with deteriorating impression quality with each additional copy.
We often receive questions like "Is this a first edition print? You can pull maybe a maximum of 10,000 prints from one woodblock before it is unusable.