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Hokusai Wall Art Prints

The Art of Hokusai

Hokusai was a Japanese artist painter and printmaker. His date of birth is unclear but is speculated to be the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of Horeki era. He began painting at the age of 6 years old. It is believed to have learned the skills from his father who was also a painter specialising in designing mirrors. During his time, he had around 30 identities as he was using 30 names. He changed his names frequently based on the changes in his production style.

Hokusai’s Training

When he was 14 years old, he was an apprentice to a woodcarver. He worked here for 4 years before joining the Katsukawa Shunsho studios. As an artist of the traditional Ukiyo style, Hokusai mastered woodblock painting. He attended Katsukawa school where he learned to focus on images of the courtesans and other ancient Japanese personalities such as the Kabuki. It only took a year before he was named Shunsho by the master. He used the new name on the first prints in 1979 works. The first published works came when he was in Shunsho’s studio.

Hokusai’s Artwork

After Shunsho’s death in 1793, he proceeded to explore new forms of art. He became exposed to European styles such as the French and Dutch copper engravings, which he got along the way. This led to his decision to adjust the subjects of the works from courtesans and actors, which were considered the traditional ones in Ukiyo. He moved to focus on landscapes and images regular Japanese people at various social levels.

His role in Tawaraya School led him to produce many painting brushes and other numerous depictions of Kyoka ehon. For example, at the start of the 19th century, he published the famous ‘Sight of the Eastern Capital’ and the ‘Eight Views of Edo’. This led to his increase in fame especially to young enthusiasts in art. He tutored students for the rest of his life.
In 1804, the now famous painter presented a portrait of the Buddhist Priest Daruma. The event was the Tokyo festival for art talents and self-promotion.

He met and teamed up with Takzwa Bakinn in 1807. Together, they worked on several novels but soon fell apart thanks to their differences.
In 1811, Hokusai formed the Hokusai Amanga with art manuals. The first release was the Hokusau Manga, which means that it comprises of random drawings. This book has a 15-volume collection with at least 4,000 sketches. The information includes the Buddhist nichiren sect contents. One of the unique things about them is their view of the North Star relating to the deity Myoken.


In his long career, Hokusai is remembered for what he did in his late life. His most popular works came after he was sixty years old. They include the Ukiyo series and the 36 views of Mount Fiji. His influence spread easily into Europe the same Century after Japan opened its borders to the rest of the world. The first samples appeared in Paris and the popularity boomed.