Exhibitions

Hokusai’s the Thirty – Six Views of Mt.Fuji

2020.05.08|Fri| 0:00 - 23:59

Overview

THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         This masterpiece made Hokusai famous as the “painter of waves”. The sea is roaring and the rolling waves are about to collapse any moment. Fishing boats trapped inside the waves are desperately trying to stay balanced. Mt. Fuji appearing behind the rough waves remains calm. Only Hokusai could have come up with a picture expressing nature’s energy versus man power, stillness versus dynamism in such a unique and forceful composition.

 

THUNDERSTORM BELOW THE SUMMIT
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         The foothills of Mt. Fuji are streaked by lightening and blackened by pouring rain. In this woodprint, Hokusai had succeeded in bringing out the sublimity and vigor of Mt. Fuji through his ingenious composition. In his two most famous woodblock prints, “A Mild Breeze On A Fine Day” and this “Thunderstorm Below The Mountain”, Hokusai depicted the different aspects of Mt. Fuji such as: the front and the back views of the mountain; Mt. Fuji in the morning and in the evening; and Mt. Fuji on a fine day and in rain.

 

UNDER MANNEN-BASHI BRIDGE AT FUKAGAWA
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         The print shows an arched bridge, Mannen-bashi, spanning over Onagi River, a tributary of Sumida River, seen from the upstream and Mt. Fuji in the distance. Rows of houses on both banks of the river are depicted in perspective and with an exaggerated touch typical to Hokusai.

 

FUJIMIGAHARA IN OWARI PROVINCE
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         It is believed that this is a scene from present day Fujimichō, Naka-ku in Nagoya City, the western boundary for observing Mt. Fuji. The geometrical combination of a miniature triangular Mt. Fuji viewed through a large round frame of a tub is the product of Hokusai’s originality. The humorous expression of the barrel maker is characteristic of Hokusai’s portrait style which also appears in his third collection of Hokusai Manga.

 

IN THE MOUNTAINS OF TŌTOUMI PROVINCE
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         The scene was probably sketched in the deep mountains where the tributaries of Tenryū and Ōi Rivers originated. It depicts a woodman in the center working on a wooden block diagonally placed in the picture and his family working in the mountains. Such use of the diagonal reflects Hokusai’s typical artistic form.

 

EJIRI IN SURUGA PROVINCE
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         The lodging station of Ejiri on the Tōkaidō highway was adjacent to the port of Shimizu. Today it is part of Shizuoka City in Shizuoka prefecture. The print depicts bewildered travelers caught in strong whirlwinds characteristic of the foot of Mt. Fuji and the unstirred mountain sketched only by outline. By depicting straw hats and papers snatched and taken away by winds, Hokusai had precisely shown the powerful wind which made even trees bend.

 

REFLECTION ON THE LAKE AT MISAKA IN KAI PROVINCE
Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

         From Misaka Pass on the mountainous path linking Kofu and Fuji Yoshida, one gets the panoramic view of Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji at a close distance. The print shows Lake Kawaguchi and Ura Fuji (the back view of Mt. Fuji seen from Yamanashi prefectural side) in summer. However Sakasa Fuji, Mt. Fuji reflected on the lake, shows a snowcapped mountain of winter, revealing a playful twist of expression by Hokusai.