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Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa in Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Self portraite as old man. Collection from Louvre.

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) (October 31, 1760 – May 10, 1849) was an Edo period Japanese artist, painter, woodblock printmaker and ukiyo-e maker. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831).

Through his painter life, Hokusai switched his pseudonoms thirty times. Among them, Hokusai (used 1805-1810) is today preferably used to address him.


  • All I have produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. At seventy-three I have learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence when I am eighty, I shall have made still more progress. At ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at one hundred I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am a hundred and ten, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive. I beg those who live as long as I to see if I do not keep my word. Written at the age of seventy five by me, once Hokusai, today Gwakyo Rojin, the old man mad about drawing.
    • On one of his pseudonom, Gyakyo Rojin. He may have said the above in his late life definitely, since he began to use the name Gwakyo Rojin in 1843.

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