a number of great artists captured various views of Mt. Fuji
to include the wonderful artist named Ando Hiroshige,
Katsushika Hokusai is also well known for his depiction of
this giant mountain. Although
Hokusai was able to create many wonderful masterpieces, each
with his distinct style, he was probably known best for his
During his career, Hokusai created some memorable
pieces although his version of “36 Views of Mt. Fuji”,
which was produced in 1827, was his best work by far.
While the series initially consisted of 36 prints, 10
additional prints were added over the course of the
following 10 years. This
series, which was called “Fugaku Sanju Rokkei” in
Japanese, was republished in the 20th century due
to its vast popularity.
The initial prints were created from 1760 to 1849,
each in the Ukiyo-e styling of woodblock prints. While Hiroshige’s version of the same view was more
advanced and detailed, Hokusai brought to the series an
almost elementary element, making it quite famous.
For instance, one view of Mt. Fuji from Suruga Bay
shows a simple boat out on the water with the snow-covered
mountain as the backdrop and a bare cherry tree hanging over
the shore’s edge.
Another view of Mt. Fuji from this collection was
taken from Ejiri in Suruga Province.
While the coloring is beautiful, the painting seems a
little strange, depicting what appears to be young
schoolchildren walking along a path in a field, tossing
papers into the air. Then,
another vantage point features an Enza Matsu pine tree at
Aoyama. In this
painting, beautiful coloring of blue and yellow are used.
The mountain seems again, elementary but the shading
in this piece is done quite well.
Probably one of the most talked about paintings in
series, “36 Views of Mt. Fuji”, is done in a Shojin
Tozan design, representing climbers on the actual mountain.
These climbers are making their way up jagged
volcanic rock early in the morning on a cold day.
In fact, of all 46 prints in this particular series
this is the only one now showing the summit of the mountain.
Most experts believe this is simply another angle of
this artist’s creativity rather than something meaningful
You would even notice a cave in the upper right-hand
corner of the painting where a large gathering of pilgrims
show them trying to keep warm, possibly waiting for the sun
to warm the day before heading further up the summit.
Another interesting aspect of this one piece is that
the clouds are very western style, which is seen by the pink
coloring in the sky and crevices along the lower third
portion of the design.
Regardless, Hokusai was quite successful with this
series, again bringing his own creativity to the