Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji Complete Set
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is a series of landscape prints by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai (1760–1849). The series depicts Mount Fuji from different locations and in various seasons and weather conditions. The original thirty-six prints were so popular that Hokusai expanded the series by ten. The most famous single image from the series is widely known in English as The Great Wave off Kanagawa , although a more literal translation might be, “Off Kanagawa, the back (or underside) of a wave.” It depicts three boats being threatened by a large wave while Mount Fuji rises in the background. While generally assumed to be a tsunami, the wave was probably intended to simply be a large ocean wave. Each of the images was made through a process whereby an image drawn on paper was used to guide the cutting of a wood block. This block was then covered with ink and applied to paper to create the image (see Woodblock printing in Japan for further details). The complexity of Hokusai’s images includes the wide range of colors he used, which required the use of a series of blocks for each of the colors used in the images.