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Hokusai Katsushika Red Fuji from Hokusai's series, 36 Views of Mount Fuji Hokusai Katsushika October or November 1760–May 10, 1849 Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period.

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Red Fuji from Hokusai's series, 36 Views of Mount Fuji

hokusai katsushika october or november 1760 may 10 1849
Hokusai KatsushikaOctober or November 1760–May 10, 1849
  • Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period.
  • In his time he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting.
  • Hokusai is best-known for woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1831) which includes the iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa, (~1820s – he was ~60)
  • Hokusai created “36 Views" both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji (Mount Fuji has traditionally been linked with eternal life), that secured Hokusai’s fame both within Japan and overseas.
  • Hokusai was born to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan
  • Hokusai began painting around the age of six, possibly learning the art from his father, whose work on mirrors also included the painting of designs around the mirrors.
  • Hokusai was known by at least 30 names during his lifetime, more then any other major Japanese artist. His name changes often related to changes in his artistic production and style
  • By 1800, Hokusai adopted the name he would most widely be known by, Katsushika (part of Edo where he was born) Hokusai ('north studio'.).
  • In 1800 Hokusai published two collections of landscapes, Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital and Eight Views of Edo. He also began to attract students of his own, eventually teaching 50 pupils over the course of his life.
  • He became increasingly famous, both due to his artwork and his talent for self-promotion.During a Tokyo festival in 1804, he created a portrait of the Buddhist priest Daruma said to be 600 feet (180 m) long using a broom and buckets full of ink. Another story places him in the court of the Shogun Iyenari, invited there to compete with another artist who practiced more traditional brush stroke painting. Hokusai's painting, created in front of the Shogun, consisted of painting a blue curve on paper, then chasing a chicken across it whose feet had been dipped in red paint. He described the painting to the Shogun as a landscape showing the Tatsuta River with red maple leaves floating in it, winning the competition
  • Hokusai transformed the art form from a style of portraiture focused on the courtesans and actors popular during the Edo Period into a much broader style of art that focused on landscapes, plants, and animals.
  • Impressionists, including Monet, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, enthusiastically embraced Hokusai’s work.


  • Painting on silk.
  • 1812-1821.
  • Collection of Moshichi Yoshiara.
  • The courtesan is almost buried the weight of her luxuriously textured and detailed kimono.
  • Hokusai pays attention to precision and detail of the cloth.
  • The important issue is the flattening of surfaces and the use of color fields.
  • This became a major influence on Western artists in the late 1800s into the 1900s.

Mount Fuji seen from water wheel at Onden.

(“The Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji”) 1825-29


The sunset view across the Ryogoku bridge from the bank of the Sumida River

(“The Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji”). 1823-1831


Fuji seen from the second floor of the Mitsui clothing store just north of Nihonbashi. (“The Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji”)


The waterfall where

Yoshitsun washed

his horse, Yoshino,

Yamato Provence



The poet Li Po ( Japanese: Ri Haku ) admiring the Lo-shan Waterfall.(series of ten prints: Shika shashinyo, the “Poets of China and Japan.”)

  • Doesn’t interpret specific poems.
  • Published c 1833.
  • Li Po is shown in deep contemplation of the waterfall, being held back from toppling over by two small acolytes.

Fighting Cocks.

  • Painting on silk.
  • Hakone Museum.
  • Hokusai also did freehand paintings on paper and silk.
  • Very few Japanese artists were able to work in both woodblock and painting.
  • Note the rooster's very proud and aggressive stance.

Peonies and Canary

  • Woodblock.
  • National Museum at Tokyo.
  • Before Hokusai, ukiyo-e artists such as Utamaro and Kunsai drew birds and flowers as illustrations in books.
  • Hokusai was the first artist to make these bird-and-flower artworks primarily as prints.
  • 1833-1834

Sangi Takamura. Women diving for abalone.

(“Hundred Poems Explained by a Nurse”)