Hokusai's Hidden Masterpiece

Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom

"Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom" was created when Hokusai was in his forties, around the time he called himself "Gakyojin" or "Man Crazy about Drawing." It captures a beautiful springtime scene with cherry trees in full bloom overlapping one another, a spring haze wafting around them, and the sacred Mount Fuji with a dusting of snow in the background.
Hokusai depicted the majestic mountain throughout his life and was known as "the artist of Mount Fuji." However, this is a hidden masterpiece that few people know about, and only a very small number of prints are in existence today. The piece, with a beautiful composition of Mount Fuji and cherry trees in full bloom, is a representation of a scene the Japanese hold near and dear to their heart.
Pale colors are printed over one another numerous times to create elegant and sophisticated shades of color, and a printing technique called "karazuri" is used to create an embossed effect, giving dimension to the petals of the cherry blossoms. Such techniques unique to woodcut prints were used unsparingly by Hokusai for the privately commissioned work to create a splendidly elaborate masterpiece.

Hokusai's "Surimono" -- Extravagant Special-order Print produced with sophisticated techniques

"Surimono" are woodcut prints that were privately commissioned for special occasions in the Edo period. Unlike woodcut prints printed on single pieces of paper that were planned for and sold to the general public, the commissioned prints were extravagant works of art created to meet the refined tastes and intentions of the intellectuals who ordered the pieces, using elegant colors and incorporating many elaborate printing techniques such as "karazuri (embossing)." Thick Japanese hand-made paper of high quality was used to bring out the intricate printing techniques. In addition, special-order prints were made in various sizes, and this piece was produced using paper that is larger in width than standard. Many superb examples of extravagant "surimono" created with the most sophisticated techniques are still preserved to this day.

<p>Perfectly Carved <br/>to give every last petal a subtle nuance as Hokusai drew</p>

This is a very intricate piece of work created for a special client, and Hokusai demonstrated his masterful brushwork when giving subtle nuances to the outlines of the petals, using many colors for the outlines. Carving the woodblocks to faithfully recreate Hokusai's brushwork is difficult work requiring much time and effort. The most sophisticated carving techniques are demanded to produce this piece.

<p>Spring in Full Bloom<br/>created with refined palette of pale colors and elaborate printing methods</p>

Since the elegant and delicate shades of color in this print are created by printing pale colors over one another repeatedly, the printing process for this work requires a great deal of time. Many other intricate printing techniques are utilized, such as "karazuri" (a printing technique used to create an embossed effect by applying strong pressure without any ink applied to the woodblock), used to portray the cherry trees in full bloom, and "bokashizuri," used to express the gradation of colors on the flower petals.

Two types of frames, "Tamenuri finish" and "Natural finish," are available for this work. Please pick one when you place an order. Both frames are a good match for various Japanese or Western-style interior decor.

Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom
Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom
Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom
Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom
Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom

Mount Fuji with Cherry Trees in Bloom

This work shows signs of genius, even though he was still a relatively obscure ukiyo-e artist at the time. Featuring two major motifs, each an image of the Japanese people, the gracefully drawn cherry trees and Mount Fuji are recognized by admirers as an outstanding masterpiece. Delicate color schemes and frequent use of embossing are elaborately executed throughout the piece. Privately commissioned for clients with sophisticated tastes, it was thought to be and still is a deluxe production.

Color: T: Tamenuri finish
Hokusai produced his very first print in 1779 at the age of twenty. It was an actor print in the hosoban format signed Katsukawa Shunro. He built his career by creating more actor prints but was mainly active as a book illustrator.Hokusai also produced paintings throughout his life and his works surpassed those of other ukiyo-e masters in terms of both quality and quantity. He began to draw designs for large, single-sheet prints after the age of seventy. At this time he also started to produce landscape and flowers and birds prints; late in life he did however again concentrate on book illustrations and paintings. In summary Hokusai can be said to have contributed greatly to the field of ukiyo-e in a variety of ways.


Sale price¥65,000
Size/WeightPrint Size: 20.5 × 54.8 cm
MaterialPaper: Echizen Kizuki Hosho Washi made by Living National Treasure, Ichibei Iwano
FeatureType of print: Woodcut Print
NotesThis product includes:
・An explanation of the work in English and Japanese
・A leaflet to introduce the production process of ukiyo-e print
This item will be delivered with a special frame.

Adachi's Philosophy and Mission

At Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints, we create attractive works that are in keeping with the times while maintaining the basics of traditional woodcut printing techniques.

Adachi's Meticulous Quality and Materials

At Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints, we use carefully selected materials and tools to bring out the original beauty of woodcut prints to the fullest.

Traditional Techniques and Adachi's Artisans

The production of ukiyo-e, which developed as a commercial printing method, focused on efficiency and profitability. And so, all processes are streamlined and sophisticated. We will introduce the basics of ukiyo-e techniques through the production process of Katsushika Hokusai's masterpiece "The Great Wave off Kanagawa."