Mokuchû Urushibara (given name Yoshijirô) was one of a group of woodblock carvers hired by the British Museum in 1912 to make facsimile copies of a famous fourth-century Chinese scroll painting by Gu Kaizhi (c. 344-406 AD). He traveled to Paris and then to London in 1910, where he remained almost without interruption until he was repatriated in 1942.
In his early years at the British Museum, Urushibara worked as a free-lance mounter and restorer of paintings and scrolls. Through his carving and print designs he exerted an important influence on the revival of color woodblock printmaking in England in the 1920s-1930s. His collaboration in 1919 with the Belgian-born and British-trained graphic artist and muralist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) was perhaps Urushibara’s most well-known project, for which he reproduced Brangwyn’s watercolors as large woodblock prints in a portfolio titled “Bruges.” The two artists collaborated a second time in 1924 by issuing a set of ten small prints for the portfolio “Ten Woodcuts by Yoshijirô Urushibara after Designs by Frank Brangwyn.” During this period Urushibara also designed and printed his own woodblock prints during the 1910s-1930s, including scenes of landscapes, flowers, and horses.