Hokusai (1760 - 1849 )

The Japanese artist Hokusai Katsushika was born in Honjo district of Edo as Tokitaro Kawamura. Adopted by the mirror maker Ise Nakajima, Hokusai was raised as an artisan, learning to engrave at an early age. As a teenager, he assumed the name Tetsuzo Nakajima and took his first steps towards the world of print. He worked as a delivery boy for a book rental shop for a time, then around age 14, tried his hand at carving woodblocks for prints at the apprentice to an engraver. Around 1779, he formally pursued his artistic education through the workshop of the preeminent ukiyo-e master of actor portraiture, Shunsho Katsukawa (1726-1792). Hokusai dedicated himself to the Katsukawa school until 1785, when he was dismissed due to a disagreement with Shunsho. From 1785 until early 1798, Hokusai under the name "Sori" as part of the Tawaraya workshop. Between 1785 and 1797 Hokusai established himself as a popular surimono (lavish, privately commissioned prints) designer, painter, and illustrator. As the turn of the century neared, Hokusai freed himself of all school associations and became an independent artist under the name "Hokusai" and "Tokitaro."The following decades were marked by personal struggles and profound professional success. 

   

In 1814, the first volume of Hokusai Manga was published, where Hokusai captured the spectrum of daily life and Edo-period imagination with a spontaneous and sketch-like quality. Between 1817 and 1835, Hokusai’s personal life was unsettled. While his artistic career flourished and his students proliferated, his second wife died. Continually changing residences within Edo, he spent time in Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto as well. In the 1830s, Hokusai entered his most prolific period as a print artist. He achieved great fame through his meisho-e (famous place pictures), such as the acclaimed series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831-1833), which includes the iconic Under the Wave Off Kanagawa. Hokusai incorporated daring composition and aspects of one-point perspective into his landscapes. He revolutionized the Japanese landscape print, capturing the familiar and the imagined alike with innovative techniques and contemporary resonance. Following a devastating fire in his home in 1839, Hokusai turned away from print design and focused on painting during the final decade of his life. Hokusai Katsushika died in 1849. It is said that on his deathbed, his words were a plea for just five more years to paint, "for then he could work as a truly great artist." 

   

Though Hokusai died in 1849, his woodblock prints and other works inspired generations of artists worldwide long after his death. While works such as the "Great Wave" brought Hokusai ubiquity, his persistent spirit of exploration, innovation, and sensitivity to his world that built his revelatory legacy. 

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Stonework

Hokusai

Stonework

JP-209103

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Fuji in a Sake Cup (Haichu no Fuji)

Hokusai

Fuji in a Sake Cup (Haichu no Fuji)

JP-111412

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Preface to Volume II of One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji

Hokusai

Preface to Volume II of One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji

JP-111454

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Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit [Reproduction]

Hokusai

Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit [Reproduction]

JP-110574

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A Way to Catch a Kappa

Hokusai

A Way to Catch a Kappa

JP-209106

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Birds

Hokusai

Birds

JP-209101

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Fujisawa

Hokusai

Fujisawa

JPR-209351

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Fuji from the Sumida River

Hokusai

Fuji from the Sumida River

JP-209286

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A Noble's Villa: Fuji at Sunamura

Hokusai

A Noble's Villa: Fuji at Sunamura

JP-209285

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Fuji in the City

Hokusai

Fuji in the City

JP-209283

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Fuji with a Cuckoo

Hokusai

Fuji with a Cuckoo

JP-209281

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Fuji under Clouds

Hokusai

Fuji under Clouds

JP-209275

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Fuji at Daybreak

Hokusai

Fuji at Daybreak

JP-209274

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Fuji Straddled

Hokusai

Fuji Straddled

JP-209273

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Fuji from Suidobashi

Hokusai

Fuji from Suidobashi

JP-209272

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Fuji from Orankai

Hokusai

Fuji from Orankai

JP-209270

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Fuji in Asumi Village

Hokusai

Fuji in Asumi Village

JP-209269

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Fuji of Elegant Delight

Hokusai

Fuji of Elegant Delight

JP-209268

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The Farmhand of Fuji in Kai Province

Hokusai

The Farmhand of Fuji in Kai Province

JP-209267

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Fuji over a Waterfall

Hokusai

Fuji over a Waterfall

JP-209266

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Fuji at a Village Boundary

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Fuji at a Village Boundary

JP-209265

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Fuji Behind a Net

Hokusai

Fuji Behind a Net

JP-209264

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Fuji under a Bridge

Hokusai

Fuji under a Bridge

JP-209263

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Fuji in a Downpour

Hokusai

Fuji in a Downpour

JP-209262

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