The reasons to create KIWA were rather simple ones: we wanted to hold international woodprint exhibitions in Japan, where none has been held, and at the same time to build up a Collection based on these prints.

Firstly, the woodblock print reached it heights in technique with the Ukiyo-e and New-ukiyo-e movements, both of which are still being pursued in Japan. The Independent Print Movement and the post-war Modern Print are also very much alive and active. Despite this depth, and notwithstanding the uncountable numbers of amateur and professional printmakers in Japan today, there have been no large-scale international woodblock print competitions. Attempts were made, but never got off the ground. KIWA is sponsoring the only such exhibition in Asia at present, with Number 6 to occur in 2011.

Secondly, we intend to collect woodblock prints from every corner of the world, by any and every printmaker, and preserve them in our museum. The exhibitions form the base of the Collection, since no prints received are returned. Eventually, we want to have at least one print by every contemporary printmaker, and display them periodically in Collection Exhibitions.