HistoryHotei Japanese Prints was established in 1982 and is based in Leiden, the Netherlands.
During the first six years of its existence, the owner, Chris Uhlenbeck, operated from home. In 1988, in a joint venture with Christer von der Burg, Ukiyo-e books was founded. a specialized bookshop, dealing with reference materials relating to Japanese prints. Hotei Japanese Prints and Ukiyo-e books established themselves in a small 18th century building in central Leiden, with one employee, and in 1992 another move bigger premises followed. Three more staff members were added.
From 1990 onwards, publications started to appear and in 1995 Hotei Publishing began its turbulent existence. In total more than 70 books appeared under the Hotei Publishing label, and today, as part of the venerable Brill Publishers it is still one of the major forces in Japanese art publishing. The historically most important books, include Amy Reigle Stevens’s The New Wave: 20th century Japanese Prints from the R.O. Muller Collection (1992), Crows Cranes, and Camellia’s on Ohara Koson (2000), Kawase Hasui, The complete works (2 vols) in 2003, The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints (2005) and most recently, John Carpenter’s Reading Surimono (2008), a monumental work on the Lusy collection in Zurich.
Hotei Japanese Prints made another move in 2005, when a large gallery became available in the Sieboldhuis, a museum dedicated to Philipp Franz von Siebold, the German physician in Dutch governmental service in the early 19th century and based on Deshima, the small fan-shaped island in the harbour of Nagasaki. A selection of the c. 40.000 objects amassed by von Siebold can be seen in a beautiful 18th century canal house on the Rapenburg in Leiden.
Chris Uhlenbeck has curated various museum shows over the last 20 years, including a major exhibition on Japanese Erotic Prints (Kunsthal Rotterdam, 2005, with the catalogue written with his wife, Margarita Winkel, titled: Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period) and most recently, with Marije Jansen, for the Sieboldhuis: Hiroshige Shaping the Image of Japan.
Hotei Japanese Prints currently employs three people:
Maureen de Vries, Japanologist, who graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London,
Leon Oninckx, specialist in all computer related matters and a collector of Japanese prints and
Paul Wijsman, Japanologist and also employed as head-librarian of the Japan Library at the University of Leiden.