The Great Wave Off Kanagawa – Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter, and printmaker during the Edo period. Born to an artisan family in present-day Tokyo, he began painting at a young age and became apprenticed to a wood-carver as a teenager.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa is also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave is a woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. It was published sometime between 1829 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji was (and still is) a symbol that holds great importance in Japanese culture. It is a symbol of national pride and identity, of beauty, and holds great spiritual importance. It is Hokusai’s most famous work, and one of the most recognizable works of Japanese art in the world.

The image depicts an enormous wave threatening three boats off the coast of the town of Kanagawa while Mount Fuji rises in the background.

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