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Katsushika Hokusai's Art Works

Essay by   •  March 14, 2014  •  Essay  •  470 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,249 Views

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"If heaven had granted me five more years, I could have become a real painter" (Hokusai Katsushika Quotes, n.d.).This is a quote from a great Japanese painter name Hokusai, who considered himself not a real painter. Hokusai was born as a normal child, but with influence from his mirror maker and painter father, an ambition together with courage and attempt, he painted a very well-known art works name'' The Great Wave off Kanagawa'' and become a very famous painter until now. I have known Hokusai since I started learning Japanese. However, I do not truly know much about him other than his famous painting '' The Great Wave''. My EC3 instructor said that in order to truly understand a language, you have to understand the art. Apart from '' The Great Wave'', there are Rainstorm Beneath the Summit, and South Wind, Clear Sky that also made his fame spread throughout the world.

Firstly, I would like to tell you about a little bit of Hokusai's art life and what is the woodblock painting. Katsushika Hokusai was a son of a mirror-maker and painter in Edo, Japan. Eventually, he began painting around the age of 6, and by the time he was 12 he started painting a woodblock art at a library and bookshop. Later on, the "Thirty-Six Views" was created as part of Hokusai's personal obsession with Mount Fuji, and to give a response to a domestic travel boom (Katsushika Hokusai Biography, n.d.). So, here is roughly about his life.

Woodblock prints were initially used in eighth century in Japan. A woodblock print image is firstly painted on a paper, and later on designed to paint on a thin, semi- transparent paper (Production of Japanese..., n.d).That print would be pasted to a wooden block (from a cheery wood) to get it craved by carvers who, using chisels. The carver will carve one block for each color to be printed, and then apply ink on top (Japan..., n.d.). It is considered as a ''high art'' as it is very classic and sometimes in a limited edition (Production of Japanese..., n.d).

Hokusai's ''The Great Wave off Kanagawa'' is the most famous woodblock painting of his thirty-six views of Mount Fuji series, there are several paintings that are made him become famous and show his great skills. After knowing a little bit of Hokusai and woodblock painting, I would



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