We are delighted to present Hokusai—The Teacher-Student Showdown!
Hokusai is a big name, of course, famed as the iconic Edo-period ukiyo-e artist. Less well known, however, is that he had some 200 students and students of students. Iijima Kyoshin (1841-1901), a pioneering ukiyo-e researcher, stated in his Biography of Katsushika Hokusai (Hōsūkaku, 1893), “Old Man Hokusai had many students, but he himself did not like teaching. If someone wanted to be his student, Hokusai would get out model drawings, which he had created and had woodblock printed, and have the student draw one of them. Then he would point out the shortcomings in the drawing. That was all he did as a teacher, but his pupils included many who became acclaimed artists.” Hokusai does not seem to have been the type to coach his students in great detail, but he did draw out their abilities and train many masterly artists.
This exhibition presents a selection from the collection to pair works in which Hokusai and his pupils depicted the same theme. Comparing them, we can explore each artist’s style and influences on them. Works by Hokusai and his students are categorized by theme into the four sections of the exhibition: the Human Figure, Landscapes, Animals, and Miscellany. In each, visitors can compare works by Hokusai and his students. This exhibition does more than present Hokusai’s genius. It encourages us to think about these students, searching for their own painting styles in the presence of that great master, and introduces fascinating works by his students that until now had been in his shadow.
To commemorate the 170th anniversary of Katsushika Hokusai’s death, our museum and Hokusai Museum, Obuse have joined together to organize a pair of exchange exhibitions. Hokusai Museum, Obuse is located in Obuse in Nagano Prefecture, a place that Hokusai visited during his later years. The theme of the Sumida Hokusai Museum is “Visual Magic”. It probes the astonishing appeal we find in Hokusai’s works when we realize that he does not depict his subjects simply as they are, but manages to add unnatural structural elements, without making the resulting work appear unnatural. This exhibition is thus a rare opportunity to see nearly 120 works from Hokusai Museum, Obuse collection on display elsewhere than in that museum. The works on display include brush-drawing paintings from Hokusai’s early to his late periods as well as his iconic Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and other polychrome prints. We hope that you will take this opportunity to enjoy them at the Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo.
Tokyo, Japan…The Sumida Hokusai Museum will hold a special exhibition to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Hokusai's death, on view from 10 September to 4 November 2019.The Mogi-Honke Museum of Art opened in Noda, Chiba prefecture, in 2006, to exhibit the works of art collected by Mogi Shichizaemon, a twelfth-generation descendent of the Mogi honke (main line), who were among of the founders of Kikkoman Corporation.The exhibition will display about one hundred works related to Hokusai. They will include famous series from its collection, including Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, A Tour of the Waterfalls in Various Provinces, and Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces, a sculpture of Hokusai by the sculptor Yabuuchi Satoshi, and rare privately commissioned prints by Hokusai’s students being exhibited in Japan for the first time.It will be the first opportunity to present a thorough introduction to this collection outside the museum itself.
The Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., renowned for its superb collection of Japanese Art, has remained unknown among many people here in Japan due to the museum policy of not lending its holdings to outside institutions. Hereupon, in cooperation with the Freer Gallery of Art, the Tsuzuri project, organized by Kyoto Culture Association and Canon, reproduced 13 paintings selected from the Freer’s collection of Hokusai paintings, which is the world’s finest and the largest of its kind. This time the Sumida Hokusai Museum will hold an exhibition focusing on those high-resolution facsimiles, together with about 130 related works out of their own collection. The exhibition juxtaposes facsimiles, created using the most advanced digital techniques, and actual works by Hokusai. By offering an opportunity to study the Six Tama Rivers, a pair of six-fold screens, and comparisons of Hokusai’s styles of rendering waves in his painting Breaking Waves and a woodblock print Under the Wave off Kanagawa, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, this exhibition will unveil the essence of Hokusai’s art.
Edo Livelihoods by Hokusai presents works from our collection by Hokusai and his students that depict the many ways people made their living in Edo. Their livelihoods include types of work that are no longer familiar as well others that are the roots of commerce today. Hokusai portrayed people engaged in many kinds of work. Indeed, Hokusai’s brush, which painted a multitude of subjects, vividly communicates how people worked in his day.
This exhibition is organized in six sections: 1. Selling Things, 2. Harvesting the Blessings of Nature, 3. Giving People Pleasure, 4. Transporting Things, 5. Making Things, and 6. Miscellaneous Livelihoods. The first section introduces a variety of merchants, including peddlers and bear balm vendors. The second introduces fishermen, loggers, and others whose work consists of harvesting resources from the natural world. The third section introduces the Edo's entertainer such as Kabuki actors and street performers. The fourth section addresses the transport industry, with its express messengers, sedan-chair bearers, and others. The fifth section presents coopers, painters, and other Edo artisans. The sixth section introduces a miscellany, from physicians to waste paper buyers.
Focusing on everyday work brings the nature of society into view. Understanding the scenes depicted in his work enables Hokusai’s images to speak to us in greater detail about the lifestyles of people in Hokusai’s day. Please enjoy exploring Edo Livelihoods by Hokusai in detail.
We would like to express our profound respect for and gratitude to everyone whose cooperation and support helped make this exhibition possible.
Animals have been one of the greatest inspirational resources for numerous artists around the world, Hokusai was certainly not an exception leaving various works of animals. A master of capturing the characteristics of his subjects, Hokusai depicted not only the attractiveness of animals but their distinctive realities. Some of animals represent quite delicate expressions particularly on the shape of their eyes.
This exhibition introduces the portrayals of animals by Hokusai and his pupils: the design for toys and tools in daily life, the illustration for myths and legends, and the embodiment of imaginative animals.