TOKYO, June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsui Agency International, Inc. announced on June 25 a collaboration with the rock 'n' roll band KISS and their global brand management firm Epic Rights to produce KISS Ukiyo-e, the Japanese traditional woodblock print, as the first feature of the "UKIYO-E PROJECT."
The "UKIYO-E PROJECT" was launched in 2014 by Mitsui Agency International and Mitsui Music, Inc. to help the diminishing Ukiyo-e artisans pass down their skills and traditions to their next generation by creating new Ukiyo-e artwork featuring global pop icon of today.
Ukiyo-e is Japan's unique art form that started in the 1600s and requires three highly skilled artisans -- an illustrator, a woodcarver and a hand printer -- to create one print. Ukiyo-e has been depicting the moments of 'now' throughout its history but the production of new Ukiyo-e is very few nowadays. The numbers of these artisans are declining (9 woodcarvers and 30 hand printers as of 2011) and Ukiyo-e needs measures to survive.
The "UKIYO-E PROJECT" has created 2 versions of all hand-made, 200 limited prints featuring KISS members transformed into kabuki actors and monsters. The band will give autographs on 100 prints of each design and 100 will be sold without autographs.
Gene Simmons: "Ukiyo-e, that's Nippon, that's tradition, that's history, that's Kabuki, that's deep deep culture. We respect it."
Tommy Thayer: "And the great thing about it, is that it's us."
After 8 months of production, "KISS Ukiyo-e" will be available for advance orders online on June 26 in the United States at www.ukiyoeprojectstore.com
The craftsmen behind this project are certified as the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's "Edo Woodblock Traditional Craftsman" as well as the Cultural Affairs Agency's "Intangible Cultural Heritage Selected Conservation Technology."
About Mitsui Agency International
Based in Los Angeles: President/CEO Yuka Mitsui
About Mitsui Music
Based in Tokyo: President/CEO Michinaka Mitsui
KISS remains one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. As one of America's top gold-record champions, KISS has released 44 albums; sold more than 100 million albums worldwide; and performed record-breaking tours around the globe for decades.
About Epic Rights
Epic Rights is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
For more information: www.epicrights.com
SOURCE Mitsui Agency International, Inc.