Sadao Watanabe, who was born and lived in Tokyo from 1913 to 1996, was famous for his biblical prints rendered in the mingei, or
folk art tradition of Japan. He learned the technique of stenciling and
dyeing from master textile artist Serizawa Keisuke.
This katazome method, which originated in Okinawa, uses traditional organic and mineral
pigments in a medium of soybean milk. dimension and texture to the print.
The work requires multiple steps of drawing, cutting the stencil, brushing on pigment or
resist paste made from rice flour, applying the dark outline, then washing the work.
The artist’s prints, stencils, and tools are on display in the exhibit Art Prints of
Watanabe Sadao: Christianity through Japanese Folk Art at the University of Washington’s
Allen Library and East Asia Library from October 27 through December 30, 2014