Fugaku sanjurokkei (Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji) (富嶽三十六景)
The word 'Fugaku' in the title means Mt. Fuji; it depicts various views of Mt. Fuji seen from different places.
It is said that the creation of the first edition was begun in 1823, and published from 1831 to 1835. The publisher was Yohachi NISHIMURAYA (Eijudo).
This work was released when Hokusai was at the age of 70; namely, it was a work of his twilight years. Borrowing the technique of Western-style painting, it was drawn in perspective, and printed with Persian blue ink called "Bero ai," which was popular in use at that time; these are the features of this work.
The landscape Ukiyoe picture was called 'Meishoe' in those days; this series was such a great commercial success that Meishoe was defined as a new genre along with Yakushae (a print of a Kabuki actor) and Bijinga (a type of Ukiyoe portraying beautiful women).
Some of these prints have Mt. Fuji filling the whole picture space as in 'Gaifu kaisei' (South Wind, Clear Sky [also known as Red Fuji]) or 'Sanka hakuu' (Rainstorm Beneath the Summit); others have distant views of Mt. Fuji as in 'Kanagawa oki namiura' (The Great Wave off Kanagawa) or 'Koshu Isawa no Akatsuki' (Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province); in this way, this series vividly portrays not only various scenery of Mt. Fuji in the four seasons and in different places but also daily lives of local people.
It had a profound influence on Japanese artists as well as foreign artists such as Vincent Van Gogh or Claude Debussy.
As its name suggests, this series was supposed to be completed with the original thirty-six at first; however, because of its popularity, ten more were added, and it came to forty-six in total.
The additional ten prints were called 'Urafuji.'
List of prints
The most representative of these are 'Gaifu kaisei' portraying Red Fuji and 'Kanagawa oki namiura' drawing Mt. Fuji with boats tossed about by a large wave.