First founded in mid-16th century Nara by the Matsui family, the Kobaien Atelier was an ink seller that flourished in the 18th century, whose achievements are preserved in the Kobaien bokufu 古梅園墨譜 and its other related publications. The records in the Kobaien bokufu illustrate a significant exchange of information, techniques, and decorative designs between China and Japan, even in the early 18th century when the Japanese government had strict laws concerning contact with foreigners. These Japanese ink-makers were still very much inspired by two old Ming dynasty ink catalogues from China: the Fang shi mopu 方氏墨譜 and the Cheng shi moyuan 程氏墨苑. This study explores how books and woodblock prints formed the basis of transmission and discourse between ink makers in China and Japan, how limitations in the craft were overcome, techniques exchanged, and the large number of publications at the time created new possibilities for innovation in the craft. Moreover, this research sheds light on the complex two-way cultural and artistic exchange between the countries in north-east Asia.