Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hokusai's Great Wave

The 36 views of Mt. Fuji: The great wave off Kanagawa
By Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

I had the opportunity to see the actual print of this work when I was in Japan in 2007. It was... small (only 25.7 cm × 37.8 cm). However, this print is almost certainly the most famous Japanese artistic work, and it was really cool to see it in real life. I have a scarf with this printed on it, and I was happy to get it also on a postcard, from my former housemate Kaori. The card itself has a really nice texture, almost like washi (Japanese paper).

On the right you have the definitive for the 20yen rate, featuring the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica).
The stamp on the left is from a set of five issued this year for National Letter-Writing Day. Each stamp in this set is from the series of "100 poems by 100 famous poets" that is also a card game. This one is poem #72. I haven't been able to find any English translation of it online.

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