The great wave off Kanagawa is part of the ukiyo-e called the 36 views of Mount Fuji. The famous picture of waves is present everywhere in different formats when talking about Japan. What is the history and significance of this famous?
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is called in Japanese Kanagawa oki nami ura [神奈川沖浪裏]. It is a famous woodcut by the Japanese master Hokusai and was published in 1830 in the aforementioned series. Ready to meet them?
Ukiyo-e – Pictures of the Floating World
Before we talk about The Kanagawa Wave, at 36 views of mount fuji or its author katsushika Hokusai, we need to understand what a Ukiyo-e is, the portraits that Hokusai and many other Japanese from Edo period did.
ukiyo-e [浮世絵] can be literally translated to portraits of the floating world, it is a Japanese print, a painting that usually shows female beauty, theater kabuki, sumo wrestlers, historical scenes, legends, landscapes, fauna and flora of Japan.
These engravings appeared around the 17th and 20th centuries and initially addressed serious and sad themes. The engravings were usually nailed to wooden blocks with a blank space excavated to make reprints of the original art.
That is, these are not rare paintings that are somewhere, several versions were made of the original print. Nowadays really many paintings are rare and valuable. Artists had no limits, many of these prints were erotic.
The Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji
Despite the name, the series Fugaku Sanjū-Rokkei [富嶽三十六景] has 46 wood engravings, 10 of which were added later. These Arts by Katsushika Hokusai depicts Mount Fuji in different seasons, weather, locations and distances.
The woodcuts date from 1831 to 1834 and were printed by Nishimuraya Yohachi main publisher of block engravings of the time. The ukiyo-e wood printing technique is what allowed the paintings to expand and become popular.
At the end of this article, you will find a list of the names of the 46 engravings in the series 36 seen from Mount Fuji. See briefly some engravings made by Katsuhika Hokusai that will also be scattered throughout the article:
Who was Katsushika Hokusai?
Katsushika Hokusai was the artist behind Great Wave off Kanagawa and of 36 views of mount fuji. It is believed that he was born in Tokyo in the year 1760 and died in 1849 at the age of 89. In addition to landscapes, the author also made erotic prints.
In his day, he was one of Japan's leading experts in Chinese painting, he gained a name in the West because of the Great Wave off Kanagawa. He painted all kinds of natural phenomena and produced over 30,000 works during his lifetime.
Katsushika Hokusai had a long history, on his Japanese Wiki page we can see that he had aberrant behaviors, despite his skills he was poor, he had problems with foreigners, warriors and kabuki actors.
It is interesting to see his thoughts and decisions throughout his life, as he revolutionized and even exported his prints to the world. Another curious fact is that Hokusai changed his home 93 times, but ended up ending his life in the city of origin Tokyo.
At the end of the article, you will still see a book with illustrations by the author called Hokusai Manga, as well as the possibility to buy his Etching of the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Before he died, Hokusai wrote a Haikai poem That say:
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|now as spirit|
I must cross
the summer fields.
yuku kisan jiya
natsu no hara
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
In Hokusai's Engraving, The Great Wave off Kanagawa is a Great Wave that threatens a fishing boat in Kanagawa Prefecture, with Mount Fuji visible in the background. Despite its size, it is not a tsunami, but a normal wave created by the effect of wind and tides.
This painting is believed to have been done around 1820, being the first in the series. Fugaku Sanjū-Rokkei and also Hokusai's most popular painting. Thousands of copies were made of the mold used, which were distributed among collectors around the world.
This print is of the yoko-e type, that is, in landscape form, it has an ōban size, 25 cm high by 37 cm wide. The landscape is composed of three elements: the sea stirred by a storm, three boats and a mountain.
This painting became very famous in the 19th century. Where many artists from other places ended up buying a copy and spreading it around the world. Today it is possible to find this woodcut in several museums such as the British Museum and the National Library of France.
Hokusai even had an influence on famous artists like Van Gogh and Claudet Manet.
Mount Fuji is a great sacred symbol of beauty and national identity, the main protagonist of Hokusai's 36 paintings. The magnificent Mount Fuji is drawn small in the background in contrast to the Big Waves.
The dark colors near the horizon and the appearance of well-lit snow-capped peaks suggest that the sun rises on the observer's side and is in the morning. Although it's not raining, the clouds in the sky indicate a storm.
the 3 boats
Three boats rubbed by the big waves are drawn on the screen. This boat was a oshiokuri-bune used to transport live fish at that time.
Each boat has eight oarsmen clinging to the sword, two or more passengers can be seen in the bow and about 30 people are in the picture. People stand rigid on the boat, contrasting with the dynamic waves.
the big wave
The sea is raging, showing the moment when the crest of the wave breaks. The wave curve draws an arc and forms a composition centered on Mount Fuji in the background. The splash of waves spread across the front of the waves is like snow falling on Mount Fuji.
The wave height is almost the same as that of the boat at the back, the length of the push is usually 12 to 15 meters, and as Hokusai extends the vertical scale by 30%, the wave height can be estimated between 10 to 15 meters. meters.
This wave is sometimes interpreted as a tsunami. This interpretation is from the 1960s onwards, before that it was interpreted as a normal wave. No major tsunamis occurred in Kanto and Kansai during Hokusai's lifetime. The waves in this painting have a short wavelength and cannot be a representation of a tsunami.
Hokusai Manga and Wave Engraving
In 1814, the great artist Katsushika Hokusai published the first volume of his sketches: Hokusai Manga. Originally conceived as a reference for its students, it exceeded all expectations and became a best seller to this day. 3
You can have the chance to buy 3 volumes on Amazon Brazil for a low price, without worrying about import bureaucracy. Don't miss your chance to see over 4,000 images of the great Hokusai. You can also purchase The Great Wave off Kanagawa painting below:
List of The 46 Engravings of Fugaku Sanju Rokkei
If we put the 46 large images in this article, it would weigh a lot, so we'll just leave a list with a thumbnail image. Hope you like the list below:
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|1||A Grande Onda de Kanagawa||神奈川沖浪裏||Kanagawa-oki nami-ura|
|2||O Monte Fuji com Tempo Limpo (também conhecida por Fuji Vermelho)||凱風快晴||Gaifū kaisei|
|3||Trovoada Abaixo do Cume||山下白雨||Sanka hakū|
|4||Fuji visto da ponte de Mannen em Fukagawa||深川万年橋下||Fukagawa Mannen-bashi shita|
|5||Fuji visto de Passagem Mishima||東都駿台||Tōto sundai|
|6||A Costa em Kamakura||青山円座松||Aoyama enza-no-matsu|
|7||Senju na província de Musashi||武州千住||Bushū Senju|
|8||O rio Tama na província de Musashi||武州玉川||Bushū Tamagawa|
|9||A passagem de Inume na província de Kai||甲州犬目峠||Kōshū inume-tōge|
|10||Vista do campo Fujimi Fuji em Owari||尾州不二見原||Bishū Fujimigahara|
|11||Templo Asakusa Honganji em Tóquio||東都浅草本願寺||Tōto Asakusa honganji|
|12||Ilha Tsukada em Musashi||武陽佃島||Buyō Tsukuda-jima|
|13||Praia Shichiri em Sagami||相州七里浜||Soshū Shichiri-ga-hama|
|14||Umegawa em Sagami||相州梅沢庄||Soshū umezawanoshō|
|15||Kajikazawa na província de Kai||甲州石班沢||Kōshū Kajikazawa|
|16||Passagem Mishima em Kai||甲州三嶌越||Kōshū Mishima-goe|
|17||O Lago Suwa em Shinano||信州諏訪湖||Shinshū Suwa-ko|
|18||Ejiri-juku em Suruga||駿州江尻||Sunshū Ejiri|
|19||O Fuji das montanhas de Totomi||遠江山中||Tōtōmi sanchū|
|20||Ushibori em Hitachi||常州牛掘||Jōshū Ushibori|
|21||Esboço da loja Mitsui na rua Suruga em Edo||江都駿河町三井見世略図||Kōto Suruga-cho Mitsui Miseryakuzu|
|22||Pôr-do-sol na ponte Ryogoku da margem do rio Sumida em Onmayagashi||御厩川岸より両国橋夕陽見||Ommayagashi yori ryōgoku-bashi yūhi mi|
|23||Hall Sazai – 500 templos Rakan||五百らかん寺さざゐどう||Gohyaku-rakanji Sazaidō|
|24||Casa de chá em Koishikawa. O amanhecer após um nevão||礫川雪の旦||Koishikawa yuki no ashita|
|26||Moinho-de-água em Onden||隠田の水車||Onden no suisha|
|27||Enoshima em Sagami||相州江の島||Soshū Enoshima|
|28||Costa da Baía de Tago, Ejiri-juku em Tokaido||東海道江尻田子の浦略図||Tōkaidō Ejiri tago-no-ura|
|29||Yoshida em Tokaido||東海道吉田||Tōkaidō Yoshida|
|30||A rota marítima da província de Kazusa||上総の海路||Kazusa no kairo|
|31||Ponte de Nihonbashi em Edo||江戸日本橋||Edo Nihon-bashi|
|32||Vila de Sekiya no Rio Sumida||隅田川関屋の里||Sumidagawa Sekiya no sato|
|33||Baía de Noboto||登戸浦||Noboto-ura|
|34||O Lago Hakone em Sagami||相州箱根湖水||Sōshū Hakone kosui|
|35||O reflexo do Fuji no Lago Kawaguchi, visto da passagem Misaka em Kai||甲州三坂水面||Kōshū Misaka suimen|
|36||Hodogaya na região de Tokaido||東海道保ケ谷||Tōkaidō Hodogaya|
|37||Honjo Tatekawa||本所立川||Honjo Tatekawa|
|38||Nakahara em Sagami||従千住花街眺望の不二||Senju Hana-machi Yori Chōbō no Fuji|
|39||Tokaido Shinagawa||東海道品川御殿山の不二||Tōkaidō Shinagawa Goten’yama no Fuji|
|40||Soshu Nakahara||相州仲原||Sōshū Nakahara|
|41||Ocaso em Isawa em Kai||甲州伊沢暁||Kōshū Isawa no Akatsuki|
|42||Encosta do Fuji do rio Minobu||身延川裏不二||Minobu-gawa ura Fuji|
|43||Ono Shinden em Suruga||駿州大野新田||Sunshū Ōno-shinden|
|44||A plantação de chá de Katakura em Suruga||駿州片倉茶園の不二||Sunshū Katakura chaen no Fuji|
|45||O Fuji de Kanaya-juku na região de Tokaido||東海道金谷の不二||Tōkaidō Kanaya no Fuji|
|46||Trepando o Fuji||諸人登山||Shojin tozan|