The Great Wave, Katsushika Hokusai

Hokusai (Japanese) is the most famous woodblock printmaker in the world. He painted 36 Views of Mount Fuji, of which this is the most reproduced. Mount Fuji is in the back of the picture. Painted in the 1820’s, it was the time that the west forced the opening of Japan to trade. His work had a huge influence on the impressionists such as Claude Monet. In 2024 the 1000 yen bank note of Japan includes this painting.

  1. Those two boats you see are barges about 12 metres long, very narrow and fast, with a crew of about 30, carrying fresh fish to market. Tell about how we catch and get fresh fish to western markets.
  2. Talk about your experiences with water, waves, and boats.
  3. The Japanese read from right to left, the west reads from left to right. Tell the story as though it starts on the right side of the image. Then tell the story as though it starts from the left. Can you feel any difference? Write the story you think the reader would most enjoy.
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