Haku Maki

Contemporary Japanese Artist

Japan

Haku Maki became famous by using old Chinese and Japanese kanji characters and refining them into abstract compositions of archaic look. Later the artist chose persimmons and ceramics as his favorite subjects.

Works by Haku Maki

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Poem 71-38 by Haku Maki

Poem 71-38 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Japanese cement mortar abstract woodblock print. Pencil signed by the artist lower right. Artist seal bottom left. Titled 71-38 in pencil. Limited edition numbered 9 of 154.

Size: 
Color: Good color and impression. Mat burn visible. Tape remnants to top margins in recto.

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Dance 69-95 by Haku Maki

Dance 69-95 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Cement mortar abstract woodblock print depicting the movements of a dance. Strong red design with embossed features. Limited edition numbered 7 of 155. Printed in 1969. Signed in pencil by the artist.

Curator's Note:

In my opinion this is one of Haku Maki's masterworks. An excellent balance between the simplicity of the colors and shapes, paired with the energy derived from the movement in the lines and the vivid tones of the red and blue.

This work depicts the movement of dance. It could be interpreted as two people dancing together, or as an individual lost in the rhythm. The focus is on what I conclude to be the body, with the head using a black on black tone which is only noticeable when studying the print closely. It's as if the energy of the dance exists naturally within the body without the need for thought.

Size: 23" h x 16 3/4" w
Condition: Excellent colors. Slight mat burn. Some paper abrasions to verso.

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Persimmon-D by Haku Maki

Persimmon-D by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Cement mortar woodblock in colors. Pencil signed, titled, dated and numbered by the artist. Artist's seal bottom right. Signed by brush. Limited edition numbered 139 of 209. Dated 1977. 

Size: 9-1/2" h by 8-1/4" w (image) plus margins
Condition: Very good.

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65-7 by Haku Maki

65-7 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). One of Haku Maki's earlier print. The 7th work done in 1965. Limited edition numbered 9 of 100. Signed and titled in pencil by the artist.

Size: 18 1/4" h x 13 1/4" w (image)
Condition: Very good. Framed.

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Cell-A by Haku Maki

Cell-A by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924 -2000). Sosaku Hanga Japanese woodblock print. One of Haku Maki's early prints, printed in 1967. Smalled edition size, numbered 34 of 50. Signed in pencil by the artist bottom right.

Signed Haku Maki in pencil.Size: 21.5” h x 13.5” w
Condition: Image area is in excellent condition with no issues (creases, rips/tears, water damage, etc.); A couple pin-point spots of foxing that are scattered about the image area; Tape remnants top margin verso and two top corners front (right corner tape still there and left side removed with slight loss of paper); Mat burn visible on front margin.

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66-3 by Haku Maki

66-3 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924 -2000). Japanese sosaku hanga woodblock print. One of Haku Maki's early prints, printed in early 1966. Small edition size, numbered 22 of 50. Signed by the artist bottom right.

Size: 22.75” h x 17.0” w
Condition: Very good condition with light toning and crease lower right corner. Scattered pinpoint foxing, which appears to be mostly towards top background; No rips, tears or water damage noted to print. For a 50+ y/o print, this is a very nice early Maki print that is rarely seen.

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Work 74-62 Abundant by Haku Maki

Work 74-62 (Abundant) by Haku Maki. Japanese color relief print. Pencil signed, titled, and numbered. Limited edition numbered103 of 153.  Bears the artist's chop mark.

Condition: Excellent.
Size: 

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Symbol No 2 by Haku Maki

Symbol No 2 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). One of Haku Maki's early color woodblock prints. Numbered 165 of 200. Titled in Japanese and English in pencil lower left: "Shôchô" and "Symbol No 2". Signed lower right in Japanese characters and in English. Dated 1957.

Condition: Very good. Slight yellowing to border. Tape residue on verso.
Size: 19.5" h x 15.15" w

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Proportion-I by Haku Maki

Proportion-I by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Beautiful large textured abstract print by the prolific Japanes printmaster Haku Maki. This print has amazing contrasts and colors. Signed in white on the bottom left edge of the print, as well as signed in pencil in the bottom right margin. Numbered xo of 50. Dates to 1964.

Size: 17" x 17"
Condition: Great color and impression. Some foxing on verso. Light curl to lower left corner. Tape ghost to the upper edge on verso.

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Collection-18 by Haku Maki

Collection-18 by Haku Maki. A black embossed Chawan bowl overlaid on a gold background. From Haku Maki's Collection series. Beautiful contrast in color and elegant in its simplicity. The print dates to 1979. Pencil signed by the artist in the bottom left. Artist's chop mark in the bottom left. Limited edition numbered 131 of 205.

Size: 10 3/4" h x 9 1/2" w
Condition: Condition is very good, a faint mat line just around image, and in reflected light the background shows some contacts.

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Poem 70-39 by Haku Maki

Poem 70-39 by Haku Maki. Beautiful primitive print with a strong contrast of color on the black background. Pencil signed and titled by the artist. Limited edition numbered 50 of 156.. 

Condition: Excellent.

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Work 73-6 by Haku Maki

Work 73-6 by Haku Maki. A stark absract contrast of black on white. Pencil signed and titled by the artist. Limited edition numbered 17 of 152. 

Size: 11.5" h x 11" w
Condition: Average. There is yellowing of the paper and some very slight foxing. The paper has creases in the margins. Upper left corner is bent.

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72-14 Grapes by Haku Maki

72-14 Grapes by Haku Maki. Beautiful textured interpretation of grapes. A bit of a deviation from Haku Maki's regular themes. Pencil signed and titled by the artist. Numbered 13 of 151. Dates to 1972.

Size: 8" w x 4" h
Condition: Good. Some discoloration to margins. Backed with a thin paper which is loosely attached. Strong image / impression.

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Poem 69-1 by Haku Maki

Poem 69-1 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). A beautiful example of Maki's early work. Signed and titled in pencil by the artist. Limited edition numbered 71 of 83.

Size: 21" h x 10 1/4" w
Condition: Good. Some age toning.

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Poem 71-50 by Haku Maki

Poem 71-50 by Haku Maki. Japanese italigo woodblock print by the renowned Japanese printmaker, Haku Maki (巻白, 1924-2000), who is widely considered one of the most prolific artists of his time, often featuring various Kanji as the theme for in his work. Kanji character in a bold red shade with subtle accents of purple and yellow surrounding it, which is then displayed on a solid black background with various embossed accents.

Limited edition numbered 7 out of 100. Pencil signed and titled by the artist in the bottom margin.

Size: 20.0" w x 31.25" h
Condition: Excellent.

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Collection-41 by Haku Maki

Collection-41 by Haku Maki. Japanese sōsaku-hanga woodblock print. Print depicts a chawan tea bowl used for Japanese tea ceremonies with an abstract design. Signed and titled in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 29 of 240.

Size: 12.5" w x 15.0" h
Condition: Excellent.

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Poem 70-45 by Haku Maki

Poem 70-45 by Haku Maki. Beautifully framed color intaglio Japanese woodblock print on paper, Limited edition numbered 44 of 202. Artist's seal in the bottom left corner. Pencil signed and titled by the artist.

Size: 15" h x 10" w
Condition: Good.

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Dog Animal Song by Haku Maki

Dog Animal Song by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the DOG.   Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji.  Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 12/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There some very small light stains on the white edge outside the print itself.  There are some very tiny white dots in the lower right quadrant. It shows three places at the top where someone had attached a sticky label.  There is a little damage to the back from the one on the left side but it doesn’t show on the front.

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Monkey Animal Song by Haku Maki

Monkey Animal Song by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the MONKEY.   Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji.  Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 2/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There some very small light stains around the white edge outside the print itself.

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Poem 72-60 Nothing by Haku Maki

Poem 72-60 Nothing by Haku Maki. Japanese woodblock print. Pencil signed and titled by artist in bottom margin. Limited edition numbered 147 of 202.

Size: 7 3/4" h x 7 3/4" w
Condition: Excellent

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Poem 69-46 by Haku Maki

Poem 69-46 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Japanese color intaglio woodblock print. Hand signed and numbered in pencil by the artist. Limited edition number 122 of 201.

Size: 8'3/4" h x 6 3/4" w
Condition: Excellent.

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Snake Animal Song by Haku Maki

Snake by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the SNAKE. Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji. The cobalt blue of this piece is striking! Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 2/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There some very small light stains around the white edge outside the print itself but other than that, it is in lovely condition. It is not framed. It appears to have never been framed or attached to any kind of backing.

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Ram Animal Song by Haku Maki

Ram Animal Song by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the RAM. Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji.  Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 10/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There some very small light stains around the white edge outside the print itself but other than that, it is in lovely condition. It is not framed.  It appears to have never been framed or attached to any kind of backing.

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Rabbit Animal Song by Haku Maki

Rabbit Animal Song by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the RABBIT.   Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji.  Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 10/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There are a few light stains on the white edge outside the print itself and the lower right hand corner has a slight crease on the edge. It is not framed. It appears to have never been framed or attached to any kind of backing.

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Dragon Animal Song by Haku Maki

Dragon Animal Song by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). This is a rare Haku Maki Embossed Woodblock Poem from the Animal Song collection he did in 1968 as a commission by the Red Lantern Gallery in Kyoto.  He did only 50 prints of each of the 12 animals of the zodiac and this one is the DRAGON.   Each is his depiction of the animal name in Kanji.  Haku Maki has hand signed and numbered the print 15/50.

From an estate in Carmel CA.

Size: 15" x 15"
Condition: Good. There some very light stains around the white edge outside the print itself. There are also about 4 very small white dots on the black area of the woodblock on the left side.

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Poem 71-10 by Haku Maki

Poem 71-10 by Haku Maki. Signed and titled in pencil by the artists. Limited edition number 12 of 152. Calligraphic woodcut in colors.

Size: 10.5" h x 7.25" w 
Condition: Excellent.

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Tortoise by Haku Maki

Tortoise by Haku Maki. Limited edition numbered 50 of 150. Dates to 1977. Hand signed and titled by artist.

Size: 11" h x 9.25" w
Condition: Excellent.

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February A.P. by Haku Maki

February A.P. by Haku Maki. Japanese textured woodblock print. Signed in pencil by artist. Artist print edition.

Size: 4 3/8" h x 12 1/8" w
Condition: Very good. Tape remnants on reverse margins; light foxing on reverse.

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Poem 68-17 by Haku Maki

Poem 68-17 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). One of Haku Maki's early works. Dates to 1968. Characters symbolize bird & horse. Signed in pencil and print-sealed. Limited edition numbered 37 of 73.

Size: 10.5" w x 21" h
Condition: Very good. Some age wear. Some toning to art work.

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Poem 71-53 by Haku Maki

Poem 71-53 by Haku Maki. Embossed mid century modern Japanese woodblock print. Hand signed and numbered by the artist. Limited edition numbered 139 of 151.

Size: 5.75” w x 8.5” h
Condition: Excellent

 

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Work 73-27 Haniwa by Haku Maki

Work 73-27 Haniwa by Haku Maki. Original signed and numbered Haku Maki woodblock print. Numbered 59 of 104. Features a very nice embossed modernist figure from the Haniwa series. Signed and titled in pencil by the artist.

Size: 7.5" w x 15.5" h
Condition: Good. 
Colors are very good. No fading or foxing. Margins partially trimmed.

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Poem 72-62 by Haku Maki

Poem 72-62 by Haku Maki. Limited edition number 12 of 202. This print is a complex work despite its direct and limited use of color. Texturing within the paper and, even deeper, within the image.

Size: 10 7/8" x 10 7/8"
Condition: Very good.

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Poem 71-23 by Haku Maki

Poem 71-23 by Haku Maki. Rare piece dated from 1971. Signed and sealed by artist. Limited edition number 43 of 100.

Size: 21" h x 32" w 
Condition: Very Good. Only light signs of handling and minor foxing.

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Work 73-43 by Haku Maki

Rare modern abstract Japanese woodblock print titled "Work 73-43". Signed in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 32/152.

Size: 7 1/2" x 15 1/2"
Condition: Excellent.

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Work 73-45 by Haku Maki

Rare modern abstract Japanese woodblock print titled "Work 73-45". Signed in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 93/152.

Size: 7 1/2" x 15 1/2"
Condition: Excellent.

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Poem 71-26 by Haku Maki

Beautiful and rare woodblock print by Haku Maki titled "Poem 71-26". It has a primitive quality, but at the same time it is very refined. Signed in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 73/151.

Size: 6" x 8"
Condition: Very good.

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Sai by Haku Maki

Beautiful Japanese woodblock print titled "SAI" by Haku Maki. Signed in pencil by artists. Limited edition numbered 180/201.

Size: 4.5" x 4.25"
Condition: Very good.

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65-6 by Haku Maki

65-6 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Original Japanese textured woodblock on naturally discolored paper. Print dates to 1965. Signed in pencil by the artist. Limited edition numbered 9/100.

Size: 14.25" x19.25"

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Poem 90-82 by Haku Maki

Modernist textured woodblock print titled "Poem 90-82" by Haku Maki. Thick impasto with Kanji style figures. Limited edition numbered 23/152. Dates to 1990. Pencil signed by artist in lower margin with artists red seal in the lower left.

Size: 8.8" x 12.1"
Condition: Good condition. Staining to bottom margin. Unbacked. Unframed.

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Poem 71-75 by Haku Maki

Very nice original Haku Maki woodblock print titled "Poem 71-75". Pencil Signed by the artist. Edition 78/154.

Condition: Excellent
Size: 12" x 18 1/2"

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Poem 70-57 by Haku Maki

Haku Maki original woodblock print Poem 70-57. Handsigned #110/201.

Condition: Great condition. Small stain in bottom margin.
Size: 5-3/4" x 8-1/2"

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Wind-C 76-10 by Haku Maki

Rare oversize Haku Maki original print titled "76-10,wind-C". Limited edition, #21/151, pencil signed. Thick paper & heavily textured cement block background. Unbacked & unframed.

Size: 30.3" x 17.3"

Condition: Very good condition. Verso has 2 small tape remnants upper edge. Slight overall toning. Upper right corner of margin slight wrinkle,

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Poem 68-50 by Haku Maki work no longer available

Poem 68-50 by Haku Maki (Japan, 1924-2000). Signed, titled and numbered in pencil by the artist. Limited edition numbered 47 of 101.

Size: 13 1/2" h x 6 3/4" w
Condition: Good overall. Slight mat burn. Tape remnants to verso.

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Collection-40 by Haku Maki work no longer available

Collection-40 by Haku Maki. Japanese sōsaku-hanga woodblock print. Print depicts a bulbous vase decorated with an autumn leaf. Signed and titled in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 33 of 230. Printed circa 1980.

Size: 12.5" w x 15.0" h
Condition: Excellent.

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Poem 68-48 by Haku Maki work no longer available

Embossed wood block print by Haku Maki titled "Poem 68-48". Signed in pencil by artist. Limited edition numbered 61 out of 71.

Size: 6 1/2" x 13 1/2"
Condition: Great impression and image. Mat burn from previous matting. Tape remnants and pencil writing on verso.

Biography

print biography

Haku Maki (巻白, 1924-2000) is a Japanese modernist printmaker and ceramicist known for his modern kanji-themed (calligraphy) designs and embossed prints.

Haku Maki was born in Asomachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan with the name “Maejima Tadaaki” in 1924. During the Second World War, Haku Maki was enlisted in the special squadron of kamikaze pilots, but was never assigned to his duty because the war ended when Japan surrendered August 14, 1945. After the war, Haku Maki started teaching at a high school and began an association with Koshiro Onchi (1891-1955) through the Modern Print Research Society. This association inspired him to focus on printmaking. Around the same time in 1950, Maejima Tadaaki changed his name to Haku Maki - ‘Haku’ translating to ‘white,’ ‘Maki’ to ‘roll.’ Haku Maki’s friendship with Onchi also led to opportunities to show around Japan and the U.S.

Haku Maki translating to ‘roll,’ emerged into the art scene with his prints that feature Chinese kanji characters. His kanji-themed prints were enhanced with a mark or dash of color after the paper was pulled off the press. Sometimes Haku Maki would alter the kanji script and modify the characters to his own invention of typography, coined as “Maki-created kanji.” The prints became Haku Maki’s visual interpretations of old Japanese poems and are each titled by the name of the chosen poem. This strikingly abstract technique made Haku Maki a quick star in the art world. He also developed a technique by chiseling woodblocks and cement molds, which created deep embossing (raised reliefs) into the paper that made the image nearly three-dimensional. Haku Maki embossed various shapes and repetitive patterns, which some Haku Maki collectors claim is an allusion to biological cells. The artist also created a series of prints with realistic depictions of persimmons - a stark contrast from his modern and abstract work. The Persimmon series was created in the 1970s and 80s when Haku Maki was at the peak of his career. He chose to depict persimmons simply because it was one of his favorite fruits. He portrayed the persimmons with lacquer-like sheen with various depictions - snow covered branches, shadowed leaves, and blacked out backgrounds.

In the last portion of his life and artistic career, Haku Maki produced ceramic vessels. The artist experimented with the surface of the ceramics and various glazing techniques. Haku Maki’s ceramic alludes to similar designs and textures from his prints. He also created photo realistic illustrations on prints after the ceramic vessels. Haku Maki mastered his ability to print almost photo-like depictions. He worked up various layers of color to achieve the final image, while using conventional printmaking ink. The artist’s craftsmanship is also notable because his finished prints remained clean, free from any loose or stray ink marks. Over the span of his life, the artist produced over 2,000 different images and at least 100,000 prints. However, Haku Maki did not keep record of his works, and neither did any gallery or collector. Therefore, no full catalogue raisonné exists. Author Daniel Tretiak originally intended to complete a catalog of the artist's oeuvre, but his motive was soon proven an impossible task. Instead, Tretiak’s The Life and Works of Haku Maki, published by Outskirts Press, Inc., provides in-depth information about the artist's life and work. In 1969, Haku Maki designed prints to accompany 21 ancient poems called Kinkafu (Music for Wagon Songs) that were translated to English for the book, Festive Wine: Ancient Japanese Poems from the Kinkafu- published by Walker/Weatherhill and written and translated by Noah Brannen and William Elliott.

Haku Maki continued to work until his death in 2000. He exhibited all over the world including the Japanese Prints Association (1955-1990), Tokyo International Biennales (1957, 1959, 1960, 1970), San Francisco Pavilion (1967), Pistoia International Print Biennale (1970), Azuma Gallery in Seattle (1995, 1996), and Kabutoya Gallery in San Francisco (1991). Fumio Ushizawa, an old friend of Haku Maki and manager of Yoseido Gallery in Tokyo, administers an archive of the artist’s work. However, much of Haku Maki’s work can be found in American collections: Ren Brown Collection, Scriptum Gallery, The Brandt Collection, Azuma Gallery, Frank Castle’s Castle Fine Arts, Petrie Rogers Asian Fine Art and Antiques, Floating World Gallery, John & Sharon McCarthy Collection, and James Main Fine Art. Galerie am Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany also holds some of the artist’s work. Haku Maki’s prints can also be found in museums like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in San Francisco, British Museum, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.