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Friday, July 15, 2011

Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji

I'd like to share some art with you - just to make all of us feel like we are learning something on the computer, which is a good thing, especially when we should all be doing our real work!

Katsushika Hokusai (surname first) (1760-1849) is an ukiyou-e artist famous for his work entitled: Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji.

I've never seen Mt. Fuji and don't believe it actually exists - there can't be fog, rain, snow or a Godzilla-sighting to obscure my view of this so-called mountain every time I either pass by it or use high-power binoculars to sight it - can there?   

Regardless, this Hokusai guy believes it exists, and has done some very famous artwork showing his dementia.According to a Japanese fairy tale called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a goddess places the Elixir of Life on the peak of Mt. Fuji. As such, the mountain is seen as a the source of teh secret of immortality.

Ukiyo-e images are created when an image drawn on paper is used to guide the cutting of a wood block. This block was then covered with ink and applied to paper to create the image.For each color, a different wood block is required.

I have scanned in all 36 pieces of art and an additional 10 he did on the subject.

Click HERE to go to my photo gallery for a peek at each one with a short description - complete with old names for the prefectures! By the way, if you click on the thumbnail, it will enlarge, and then you can view it like a slide show or go forward and backward via the arrows on the side of the image.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Yes, the images are all from my personal collection... of postcards purchased from the Tokyo National Museum, from their collection of Hokusai art. I wish I owned even one original Hokusai ukiyo-e, but truth be told, originals are probably worth the cost of a house in Toronto. That's somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1/2 a million dollars.

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