This week sees the College Women's Association of Japan print show approach its half century, as the 48th annual selection of prints goes up at the Tokyo American Club Oct. 17-19. The print show, inaugurated in 1956, began as a fundraiser to send Japanese students abroad; today it's bringing the best overseas students to Japan for graduate study.

What hasn't changed is the exceptional quality of the artworks on show. That's because the CWAJ show isn't your typical charity event -- it's a major forum for the display and sale of one of Japan's most characteristic art forms, the hanga (print).

"The show attracts curators and dealers from all over the world, as well as the public," says Sarah Brayer, an artist who has submitted to the show since 1982 and who received a CWAJ scholarship herself in 1999. "So it's not only an honor, it's a chance to have one's work viewed by a wide audience."