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 Hokusai Katsushika  


He was born in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, in October 1760. It is said he relocated as many as 90 times within Sumida-ku because he never cleaned, and so he changed his residence whenever it was strewn with litter.

He started to study the art of drawing under an ukiyo-e artist Katsukawa Shunsho when he was 19 years old and published more than 30,000 works before he died at the age of 90.

His representative work, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji was drawn at the beginning of the last phase of his life, when Hokusai was 72 years old.

He adopted perspective representation and Prussian blue, an artificial pigment brought from Europe, in the series. This pigment was discovered in Berlin and was called Beroai in Japan.


It produced a color that did not exist before and became known as Hokusai blue. The 36 works of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji were drawn using Hokusai blue.

Hokusai’s works were introduced at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1867, which inspired Vincent van Gogh and Émile Gallé, and then swept across the world. He is one of the greatest artists, and is still loved and respected.

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