So, this morning I walked past the cultural icon that is Japan’s Kibuki Theatre in search of other delights housed in the 12 floor stationery lover’s magnet that is G-Itoya.
Two hours of happy browsing ensued before I emerged with an assortment of paper and pens, all of which is now on its way to Australia courtesy of Japan Post.
Under the Wave off Kanagawa (or The Great Wave) is one of the most popular images ever to emerge from Japan.
This woodblock print by the prolific artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was just one in the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.
The Sumida Hokusai Museum opened in late 2016. The current exhibition, Hokusai’s Water Wonderland, focuses on his waves and waterfalls, and how the imported pigment, Prussian Blue, featured greatly in the series.
Hokusai worked in many forms during his long life and was also responsible for small manga-like how-to-draw manuals, some of which are available free of copyright on Open Culture.
As you can see, they are still very useful to those learning drawing, even if you don’t read Japanese.
Hokusai and other “artists of the floating world” (ukiyo-e) greatly influenced the French impressionists and Japonisme became quite the fashion in the latter part of the nineteenth century.
As you might guess from the name, Hokusai inspired the series of prints by French artist Henri Riviere called Thirty-six Views of the Eiffel Tower.
The museum is well worth a visit as much for the building itself, designed by the architect Kazuyo Sejima.