[Woodblock Print] Kajikazawa in Kai Province - Hokusai: Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji
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Made in Japan
Artist: Hokusai Katsushika
Series Title: Fugaku Sanju-Roku Kei (Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji)
Printing method: Hand printed woodblock print
Paper: Japanese washi paper Echizen Kizuki Bosho by Living National Treasure Iwano-Ichibe
Wood block: Cherry blossom wood
Dimension of artwork: H250mm x W 380mm / about H10in x W15in
Base paper dimension: H335mm x W485mm / about H13.25in x W19in
Includes explanation of artwork in Japanese
Specification of Frame: Frame not included in standard purchase. Please select “with frame” for framed artwork.
Dimension of frame: H350mm x W510mm x th20mm /about H13.75in x W20in x th0.75in
Material of frame: wood + acryl
Weight of frame: 1.3kg / 2.8 pounds
Made in Japan
TITLE: KOSHU KAJIKAZAWA (KAJIKAZAWA IN KAI PROVINCE)
This spot was known as where two rivers met, therefore, the flow of water was vigorous and aggressive. The artwork also illustrates this energy as though ocean high tides. A man and child are at the tip of the rocky cliff in hopes to catch fishes with their net. Heavy layers of fog and Mt. Fuji past it gives the artwork balance, opposing the movement of waves drawn to the lower end of the piece.
SERIES: FUGAKU SANJU ROKU KEI (THIRTY SIX VIEWS OF MT. FUJI) SERIES 1831-1833
Fugaku Sanju-roku kei, or Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji, is said to be the first perspective Japanese woodblock print (with few exceptions from the set) and composed of 46 known woodblock prints issued between 1831~1833. (Originally 36 with 10 later added due to its popularity.) In an era of non-perspective drawings, the artist’s achievement of using perspective is appraised. Because this series only uses 4-5 wood plates to complete one piece, which is few for woodblock print, the final quality and portraying the intended dynamics depends on the woodblock carver and printer’s dexterous craftsmanship.
ARTIST HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA
Hokusai Katsushika’s work is detailed and meticulous yet dynamic; he who would not miss drawing in even a strand of hair on a furry wardrobe if it was necessary to complete the dynamics of the artwork as a whole. The dynamics of his picture can also be seen from the number of woodblock layers needed print one picture; his works use relatively few woodblocks.
WHAT IS A WOODBLOCK PRINT?
Woodblock print became popular in Japan in the Edo Era (1603-1868). Although it is considered a way of mass producing copies of an art, many craftsman are involved in its process, making its production complex, thus the finished product is recognized as a piece of fine artwork. Historically in Japan, Japanese did not understand its value because, to them, it was too common; not only did it take form of art, the method was also used for books, magazines and advertisements; therefore, many original woodblock prints ended up in Western countries where they took interest in exotic foreign pictures.
PRODUCTION AND ATELIER TAKAHASHI BRAND
The woodblock prints introduced here is from Atelier Takahashi who has been printing the woodblock prints since mid-1850’s. In producing a single woodblock print, the following people are involved: artist (who draws the “original” and produces the composition), wood plate carver (who delicately carves numerous wood plate in order to achieve the original drawing when printed), and printer (who applies color to the carved wood plate and transfers it to a piece of paper.). Many people only recognize the artist’s name when it comes to woodblock print, but it is the wood plate carver and the printer’s craftsmanship that allows for numerous copies of artist’s work to be distributed. The carver must not transcend the lines drawn by the artist. The printer must layer many colors to achieve the right color and also must precisely overlay the colors so that no spot goes over the drawn lines. The fine craftsmanship of carver and printer is what determines the quality woodblock print as a final product. History of Atelier Takahashi is enough to demonstrate the quality of their craftsmanship: The Second Takahashi was awarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1877, the Third Takahashi was invited to present his printing skills during Prince Arthur’s stay in Japan in 1890, the Fourth Takahashi presented his printing skills to General MacArthur during his term in Japan after World War II. Despite the age of digital printing, the Sixth Takahashi succeeded the name and continues to spread woodblock prints to the world.