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  • Hokusai's Mt.Fuji in Japanese and English

    対訳 北斎の富士 (新・おはなし名画シリーズ) Hokusai's Mt.Fuji in Japanese and English
    Hokusai's Mt.Fuji in Japanese and English

    (2013/09)
    西村 和子

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    Katsushika Hokusai(1760-1849) was an aritist of genius who was active in the later years of Edo period.
    Early on his works gained recognition overseas and toward the end of the nineteenth century, together with those of other ukiyo-e artsits, had gread influence on the Impressionist and Post Impressionist artist such as Vincint van Gogh.
    Large seize with 36pages, before-tax price:¥2,000
    "Under the Wave off Kanagawa: Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji"
    Anyone who has seen this wood-block print on a small sheet of Japanese paper will never forget it.
    "Under the Wave off Kanagawa", produced by Katsushika Hokusai some 180 years ago, is one of the most famous pictures in the world.

    北斎 
    At the age of seventy-five, he wrote as follows:
    "Nothing I produced before seventy was worthy of notice.It was only after the age of seventy that I began to understand something of shape of things and life in nature."

    Indeed he produced his renowned series Fugaku Sanjurokkei (Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji) after the age of seventy.

    "Mt. Fuji at Dawn: Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji"
    "Mt. Fuji at Dawn" captures that rare moment when Mt. Fuji turn red by the sun at dawn.
    This picture is also known as "Red F uji".

    北斎 
    Since ancient days Mt. Fuji has been worshipped as sacred mountain where divinities reside. Especially for the people of Edo who daily looked up to it, Mt. Fuji was a home in their hearts.

    "Thunderstorm beneath the Summit: Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji"
    "Thunderstorm beneath the Summit" contains within one composition both the summit of Mt. Fuji touched by the lingering summer evening light, and its foot showery and struck by lightening.
    This picture is also known as "Black Fuji".
    北斎
    In the Edo period Mt.Fuji worship developed. It advocate that 'high or low, rich and poor, all people are saved by worshipping Mt. Fuji and climbing it'.
    Everyone scramble to climb it.


    "Mt. Fuji at Sea: One hundred Views of Mt. Fuji"
    Upon completion of Thirty-Six views of Mt. Fuji series, Hokusai further poduced picture books entitled One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji.
    In this siries there is a picture very similar to "Under the Wave off Kanagawa".
    北斎
    Seen across the surging billows Mt. Fuji serenly stands in the distance. A flock of plovers fly across, emerging as if transformed from the breaking crest of wave.
    This picture is entiled "Mt. Fuji at Sea".


    "Mt. Fuji the Day after Snow: One hundred Views of Mt. Fuji"
    While in the series Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji Hokusei depicted a variety of views of Mt. Fuji, in One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji there are number of pictures in which he turns his eyes to the people who look at it.
    From these pictures we learn something about the culture and way of life of people living there.
    北斎
    In those days people used to make miniatures of Mt. Fuji so that they could worship it whenever they wished.
    They were called "Fuji Mound", which, in Edo alone, reputedly totalled over one hundred.


    "Mt. Fuji in a Sake Cup: One hundred Views of Mt. Fuji"
    The series One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji contains pictures that make one laugh, for example "The First Hanging Scroll", "Mt. Fuji in a Window" and "Mt. Fuji in a Sake Cup".
    北斎
    In this picture, an old man is amused to find Mt. Fuji reflected in his sake cup.
    I like Hokusai's sense of humour!
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