Two hundred years ago, in 1817 (Bunka 14), the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) executed a work of performance art, painting a huge portrait of the founder of Zen Buddhism, the Bodhidharma, (about 18×11 meters or the size of 120 tatami mats). He made use of the vitality of the Nagoya castle town to advertise his Sketches by Hokusai (Hokusai Manga). Hokusai’s activities as a performer began in Edo, prior to the Nagoya giant Bodhidharma event. He is also said to have painted a huge Bodhidharma and also large paintings of Hotei and of a horse as well as an extremely tiny painting of two sparrows on a single grain of rice in Edo. We explore Hokusai’s activities as a performer who contributed to the excitement of urban life in both Edo and Nagoya, through materials concerning festivals and misemono spectacles in both cities, and the full set of his Sketches by Hokusai.