(English Subtitles available …) This is woodblock printmaker David Bull – living in Japan for 30 years, making a living making woodblock prints. There are many videos on my YouTube channel … … mostly showing how myself and my staff members create our beautiful traditional Japanese prints. This video is different. This video is an ‘appeal’. Myself and my staff have a wonderful project that we want to start … … but we have been unable to find a way to get permission to do it. It is to send a message to a ‘certain organisation’ that we are making this video. Which organization? Studio Ghibli We have tried a number of times to contact them to make our request, but have been unable to get through. Might the proposal in this video get through to them? I have no idea, but let’s try! Please have a look at this beautiful little woodblock print. I am sure you all recognise the characters, from one of the most popular of all Studio Ghibli creations. I of course have no permission from the Studio to make this sample print. And we can’t sell it, so please don’t ask! I did so because it seemed to me the only way to clearly show them what I want to do. I would like to reproduce scenes from Ghibli creations in the form of a set of traditional woodblock prints. Not in a parody form; not distorted in any way … I simply want to create objects in which the warmth and human touch of the Ghibli characters can be seen in this beautiful way. This print is made with exactly the same traditional techniques as the old ukiyo-e prints from the Edo era Back in those days, one of the main purposes of printmaking was to allow the people to bring their Kabuki ‘heroes’ into their daily life The skills of the printmaking craftsmen brought those actors to life in a very vivid way. We want to do the same thing with the Ghibli characters Look closely at this print! Look at the way that the sharply carved lines are pressed into the paper Look how the pigments blend in the beautiful washi … Seen under the proper light, a print like this is far more than just a simple ‘picture’ The characters come to life in front of our eyes … This is the unknown secret of Japanese prints! Now that’s part of the story – bringing the Ghibli characters to life in a new way … but there is another side to my request. Over the past few years, I have nurtured a team of young craftsmen and women here at Mokuhankan These young people love woodblock prints in the same way that I do … and they are working hard to develop their skills. But it takes years to get good enough to make a living in this craft, and it is very difficult for Mokuhankan to support them during the time that they are developing. We are surviving; we are getting by; but only just. If we can get permission from Studio Ghibli to create a set of prints like this it would greatly help our work. We are thinking of a set of 12, to be issued to collectors at a pace of one per month for a year. We know such a series would be very popular … … and this would provide us with a steady revenue to keep our workers employed for a longer period. To speak of selling these prints means to speak of getting a license. Perhaps this would be under a typical licence contract, or perhaps we could arrange something more creative. For example, we understand that Miyazaki-sensei is currently developing a project in Okinawa, a children’s ‘Nature Retreat’. It would be an interesting idea if we donated a percentage of revenue from our prints to that project. We are open to any suggestions from the Studio … But the first step must be to speak directly with Studio Ghibli about this. If any of you who have watched this video know some-body who knows somebody who knows somebody … who might help us establish communication with the Ghibli licensing people … I hope you will get in touch with me. My contact information is on the YouTube page, and I will give it again at the end of this video. One final thing before I close. We have established a website where we explain our request. On that site there is also a form where you can give your own input on this project. The website address is easy to remember: ghiblisayyes.com We really really want to bring this beautiful set of prints to life. I very much hope you can help us. Thank you very much for listening to my presentation.