For more than a hundred years it has been common in Japan for people to commission custom senjafuda from woodblock craftsmen. These label-like small prints were originally meant for pasting on shrine or temple gates, but long ago became an object to be collected.
Although the basic size is traditionally determined (about 5 x 15 centimeters), the content of the senjafuda is completely open. People have them made reflecting their work or hobby interests, or perhaps to commemorate some special event in their lives. Clubs of people with similar interests exist, and the members commission these prints and exchange them with each other.
Here is a senjafuda made for the [Baren] printmakers' group ([Baren] members can order this below):
Senjafuda are usually of a fairly straightforward design, and are printed with rich saturated colours.
We think it might be of interest to people around the world to have senjafuda made for them, so we have arranged for a young Japanese printmaker to make them to order for us. Mr. Shingo Ueda works in the traditional methods, although unlike the old craftsmen, he does both carving and printing. He has developed a fine level of skill, and would be happy to carve and print a set of senjafuda for you!
We are making the senjafuda available in two ways: standard or custom. If you are not ready to design your own senjafuda, we have prepared a standard 'template' in which you can draw your name. This is the senjafuda illustrated at the top of this page - your name (or anything else that fits, actually) would replace the word 'baren'.
The second type is completely 'custom' - you can design anything you wish (as long as it fits within the standard size). We request that it have no more than four colour impressions (say, black plus three colours). Orientation can be horizontal or vertical. Here are some samples of custom-made senjafuda from Japan:
Whichever your choice, if you wish to have a senjafuda made for you, place your order with the appropriate form below. Then download the template, fill in the design, and contact the Mall Manager to arrange to send it (by email attachment or postal mail).
Your senjafuda will be printed on a high-quality handmade washi paper.
Note: As senjafuda are quite small, it is possible to carve more than one on a block for printing together. So if orders for more than one senjafuda are received at the same time, they can be combined for production, resulting in lower costs. Get together with a friend - order your senjafuda together, and get the discounted price! You can also ask the Mall Manager if there are currently other people waiting for a group to form. (Note that because the senjafuda will be printed together, the colours must combine - the listed prices cover up to six blocks per set.)
Also note: The blocks will be stored in Ueda-san's workshop after the printing is done. At any time later, you may ask for more copies to be run off; these later copies are of course cheaper, as the carving has already been done ...