Contemporary Japanese prints are original works of art that are created as prints; they are not reproductions of anything else. They are made in multiple numbered and signed copies that form what is called an edition, or the total number of prints pulled or printed from a plate or block.
Each piece within an edition is individually crafted, requiring the artist to repeat multiple, exacting processes that demand great skill. The edition size is determined by the artist and sometimes by the material he or she uses; some materials can not physically withstand more than 20-25 impressions.
There are four main kinds of printmaking techniques: Relief (woodblock, collagraph); Intaglio (notably etching, engraving, dry point and mezzotint); Planographic (lithography); and Stencil (serigraphy, stencil, kappa-zuri). An artist may use a combination of techniques and thereby create a mixed media print.