Japanese woodblock printing has a long history, starting in 8th century, originating in China.
The print collection of the Library is chiefly of the late 19th century. That was the time when the woodblock print was the main vehicle for promoting literacy and entertaining people. Topics of the prints vary. From most popular actors or courtesans, heroes and villains, religious and ethical teachings, criticizing people in authority, famous places and restaurants. The collection at the Library is now over 350 and many are digitized and available online.