Japan art and Hokusai: Snow and windy conditions

Japan art and Hokusai: Snow and windy conditions

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is internationally famous for his delightful art. In this article, the focus is on snowy and windy conditions by Hokusai.

In the first art piece, wayfarers struggle against the strong wind on the Tōkaidō Road. Mount Fuji can be seen in all its splendor. However, the trip is blighted by the gale – which is blowing hats, papers, and other lightweight goods away.

The above scene is from Hokusai’s ‘One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.’ Once more, people are battling the weather conditions. This time, the main culprit is the deep snow. People also have little respite – because the snow is continuing to fall.

The Sumida Hokusai Museum says, “Hokusai was a prolific artist who worked in a variety of different styles over a period of some seven decades. The styles vary significantly, as if different artists have created them. At the age of 19, Hokusai became a disciple of the ukiyo-e artist Katsukawa Shunshō and was given the name Shunrō. By the end of the period in which he worked under this name, it is said that Hokusai was already studying other styles of art. After leaving Katsukawa, Hokusai went on to study a completely different style under the Sōri School, which was derived from the highly ornamental Rinpa style of art. There he took the name Tawaraya Sori. Hokusai eventually left the Sōri School, and he thought of nature and the universe to be his true masters and began pursuing work that reflected his fascination towards them. The rich experiences he had over the years, is perhaps the source of Hokusai’s diverse style.”

In the last art piece, Hokusai depicts the view of the boat bridge at Sano. This landscape was taken in Kôzuke Province (modern-day Gunma ). Once more, the conditions look harsh and cold – and it is easy to imagine the cold wind while walking over the exposed bridge.


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