Our Art / Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai

Known for his dramatic scenes portraying forces of nature, Hokusai (1760–1849) is now the artist of the world’s most recognizable Japanese prints. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji that includes the internationally iconic print, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

Though his earlier woodblock prints (known as “ukiyo-e”) depicted more traditional subject matter of Kabuki actors, Hokusai revolutionized the medium with his series focused on landscapes and daily life in Japan. Hokusai created his landscape series as a personal obsession with Mount Fuji and as a response to a domestic travel boom, during which this series circulated widely around the world bringing him fame both in Japan and overseas.