Japan Art and Mount Fuji by Hokusai

Japan Art and Mount Fuji by Hokusai

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Mount Fuji is one of the most famous mountains in the world. Hence, while people might know little about Japan, any mention of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Mount Fuji and even the least knowledgeable person knows instantly where this mountain range is.

Similarly, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is one of the most esteemed printmakers known internationally – along with Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858). Accordingly, this article focuses on Hokusai and his delightful prints of Mount Fuji.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says (print above), “Juxtaposed here with the clear brilliant calm of “South Wind, Clear Sky” (the “Red Fuji”), the Storm Below Fuji reveals the expressive range and power of Hokusai’s vision. Forky across the inky base, a bolt of white lightning dramatizes the sudden change from a cloud filled summer sky to the murky violence that obscures all below Fuji’s magnificent cone.”

The British Museum says, “Renowned painter and print artist of the ukiyo-e school. Pupil of Katsukawa Shunsho; also said to have studied with Kano Yusen, Tsutsumi Torin III, Sumiyoshi Hiroyuki and others. Used more than thirty other art names. The leading ‘Ukiyoe’ artist of the later Edo period, Hokusai had the longest career of any of them – more than seventy years – and during this time changed his style many times, making unique contributions in all fields.”

Overall, Hokusai produced many delightful prints of Mount Fuji and different subject matters that continue to appeal in modern times.

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