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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

"Hokusai: Mountain Grandeur" at the Sumida Hokusai Museum,Tokyo


The exhibition features the magnificence of mountains which KATSUSHIKA Hokusai depicted. It is on view from June 20 to August 27, 2023.



KATSUSHIKA Hokusai (1760-1849) is a renowned Ukiyo-e artist born in Sumida, Tokyo.

He produced a lot of woodblock prints and paintings.

He developed Ukiyo-e depicting portraits, mainly of courtesans, and actors into a broarder style of art that focused on landscapes, plants, and animals.


Let's explore the Ukiyo-e Mountains depicted by Hokusai.







1: Hokusai Depicts the Japanese and Mountains


Katsushika Hokusai Pilgrims Climbing in the Mountain, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji The Sumida Hokusai Museum (1st term)

It was for religious purposes that the people in the Edo era went climbing mountains. They believed that a deity lived in the mountains and went out to climb Mt. Fuji, Mt Oyama, and Mt.Tateyama. Around the time the series was created, those mountains attracted many groups of pilgrims. Consequently the series gained great popularity.

On the upper right you'll see pilgrims packed in the cave to avoid from a strong wind. You can imagine how hard the worshipping Mount Fuji was.



2: Hokusai Depicts Mountains of all, from Mount Fuji to Mere Hills

*Mount Fuji


Katsushika Hokusai A Mild Breeze on a Fine Day, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji The Sumida Hokusai Museum (Exhibit full-term with changes in works)


This woodblock print is also known as Red Fuji Gaifu (凱風).

The series is world-famous works depicting Mount Fuji from various locations, different seasons, and weather conditions.

It was published in 1831, at the age of 71.



Katsushika Hokusai Rainstorm Beneath the Summit, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji The Sumida Hokusai Museum (Exhibit full-term with changes in works)

It was published in 1831.


*The Hills of Edo


Shōtei Hokuju Mount Dōkan The Sumida Hokusai Museum (1st term)

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)


SHOTEI Hokuju (the date of his birth and death unknown) who is one of Hokusai's disciples depicted Dokanyama hill which is located on the west side of JR Noshi Nippori.


In the Edo period Dokanyama hill was noted for offering nice views.

It was published in 1804~30.

I chose this woodblock print because I had lived around here before I married.


*Mountains in the Kanto Region



Katsushika Hokusai The Hanging-cloud Bridge at Mount Gyōdō near Ashikaga, from the series Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces The Sumida Hokusai Museum (2nd term)


In the center you'll see the tea house on the steep crag (rock) as if it is high in the sky, surrounded by clouds and mist, which Hokusai emphasized.

It was published around 1834.


Katsushika Hokusai Kirifuri Falls at Mount Kurokamiyama in Shimotsuke Province, from the series A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces The Sumida Hokusai Museum

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image) The falls are located in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture and attracted many visitors on their way to Nikko Toshogu Shrine.


You can see the movie of Kirifuri Falls taken by Michi on May 28, 2022.






*Mountains in the Chubu Region



Katsushika Hokusai Simplified View of Tagonoura Beach at Ejiri on the Tokaido Road, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji The Sumida Hokusai Museum

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)


Tagonoura is located in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture and

Hokusai depicted small Mount Ashitaka in front of Mount Fuji, which contributed to show vastness of Mount Fuji.

It was published around 1831.


*Mountains in the Kinki Region




Katsushika Hokusai Cherry Blossoms at Arashiyama in Yamashiro Province, from the series Fine Views of Snow, Moon, and Flowers The Sumida Hokusai Museum

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)


Hokusai depicted Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto. The area around the bridge has attracted many tourists since then because of a scenic spot for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

It was published in 1818~1830.


*Mountains on Shikoku and Kyushu and in the Chugoku Region



Katsushika Hokusai Kintaikyō Bridge at Suō Province, from the series Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces The Sumida Hokusai Museum

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)


The bridge is located in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

You'll see a sharp pointed mount Shiro (300m), which was completely deformed. And Hokusai used his imagination to depict Iwakuni Castle on the upper left side because it hadn't existed then.

It was published in 1834.





3: Hokusai Depicts Life in the Mountains



Katsushika Hokusai Minamoto no Muneyuki Ason, from the series One Hundred Poems Explained by a Nurse The Sumida Hokusai Museum (2nd term)


Hokusai depicted hunters' life in the series so that anyone could understand it with pictorial explanations.

It was published around 1835.



Katsushika Hokusai The Suspension Bridge on the Border of Hida and Etchū Provinces, from the series Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces The Sumida Hokusai Museum

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)


Hokusai implicated a harsh riskiness of working in the mountains

It was published around 1834.


4: Hokusai Depicts Mountains and Legends-Weird Mountain Creatures



The left print: Crossing in a Basket, from Sketches by Hokusai Vol.13, published in 1849.

The center print: Fuji from Behind, from One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, Vol. 1 (Meiji Edition) from Sketches by Hokusai, published in 1876.

What are those leaves hanging on the ropes? The answer is on the bottom of the blog.

The right print: Gathering Rock Tripe Lichen, from the Sketches by Hokusai Vol.13, published in 1849.

All The Sumida Hokusai Museum Collection

* Taken by the author at the press preview(cropped image)

Katsushika Hokusai Tengu, Baboon, Ghost, Mountain Witch, from Sketches by Hokusai, Vol. 3 The Sumida Hokusai Museum (full term)




Katsushika Hokusai Socializing with a Mountain Demon Who Understands Human Speech, from Strange Tales from Hokuetsu, Vol. 4 The Sumida Hokusai Museum (full term)

It was published in 1812.



The answer: They are tobacco leaves. Thank you!




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