Unsodo was founded in Teramachi Nijo, Kyoto in 1891 as a publisher specializing in art. It is the only publisher in Japan that publishes books printed by woodblock printing.
When the company was founded, machine printing technology was still in its infancy.
Woodblock printing was the mainstream for color printing, and craftsmen's handwork was the most reliable printing method.
Unsodo excelled at design art printing and published collections of works by many painters and designers.
Especially in Kyoto, where Kimono retail business was flourishing, the collection of fabric dyeing patterns was very popular among the Kimono makers.
Since the Taisho era (1912-1926) to this day, they have published woodblock prints by some of the most well-known Shin-Hanga artists, such as Higuchi Tomimaro, Ikeda Zuigetsu, Asano Takeji, Okada Gyoichi, Kato Kohshu, and Tsuchiya Rakuzan.[Origin of the company name]
The name "Unsodo" was given by the artist Tomioka Tessai. "Unso" is a perennial herb in the mandarin family, and cultivated in southern Europe under the name of "Wijnruit" for medicinal and ornamental purposes. It has long been used as a fragrant herb to protect books from pests.