Remembered as Hokusai, this Japanese artist was a painter for the ukiyo-e genre. This art movement involved the production of woodblock prints and paintings of landscapes, flora, fauna, female beauties and more. He created the iconic Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji including the internationally acclaimed prints of ‘The Great Wave’. This was created as a result of the Japanese boom in domestic tourism of the time. By modernizing traditional print styles through innovations in subject and composition, Hokusai was among the first artists to shape, and be shaped by globalization, being influenced by international movements.
Hokusai was incredibly creative and innovative and never stopped learning or experimenting. He produced 30,000 paintings, sketches, prints and picture books over his lifetime. And he changed his name over 30 times, each time he achieved a new level of artistic skill. The name we know him by, Katsushika, refers to the part of Tokyo where he was born. Hokusai means ‘North Studio’ in honour of the North Star, an important Buddhist symbol. The final name on his tombstone is Gakyo Rojin Manji – ‘Old Man Mad about Painting’. He never stayed in one place long either. He hated cleaning, so every time his studio got too dirty he just moved.