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There are many styles: Illusionist, Surrealism, Abstract expressionism... What type of style is The Great Wave?? Also, did he do a piece called "ghost of kahara"? I can't find it anywhere on the web..It's most likely spelled wrong. Please message me back at my username. --Cyberman 03:26, September 10, 2005 (UTC)


// Next time give your stuff a title so it can be sorted. Gah.

Hopefully this won't tick too many people off, but I removed references to tsunami with regards to Hokusai's famous Great Wave picture. He himself calls it an okinami (沖波) not a tsunami (津波) in the title. This may seem like hair-splitting, but especially after the recent tsunami tragedy in SE Asia, it would be nice to clear up the misconception that any "big wave" is a tsunami. CES 00:39, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I'd beg to differ. That he called it that, it doesn't change the facts that 1) next to nobody heard about okinami and 2) it is now a famous artistic depiction of a tsunami, no matter what the author intended. I think you should rv your changes and add what you just said in a note (using <sup>1</sup> syntax, if I may suggest it. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 01:27, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You're right, this is a good opportunity to educate and inform: Wikipedia is no place to perpetuate false "facts" after all. I'll add some text explaining the difference between an okinami and tsunami. Good idea CES 04:09, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Following Wikipedia policy on article names (which says "What .. would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine?") we have been listing Japanese woodblock prints artists under the names they are commonly known by in the West - which means we do not use their complete names (which are rarely used in the West, and for artists of this era change over time anyway). Please see Talk:Sharaku for an extended discussion on this topic. Please leave them where they are. Thank you. Noel 20:38, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

All right. When merging Katsushika Hokusai I will redirect it here instead of the other way around. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:16, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Deleted "including especially that of Shiba Gokan, from whom he gained some fragmentary knowledge of European methods" because I was unable to confirm the existence of Gokan anywhere else and it seems like a confusion with the novel style "gokan". Got any info on "Shiba Gokan"? -- dreamword

Mandelbrot set external link?[edit]

Why is there an external link to mandelbrot sets, when neither mandelbrots nor fractals are mentioned in the article itself (that I saw, hopefully I didn't just overread it). --Syrthiss 15:20, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

The odds are that if you were to look back in the history of the article, someone probably commented on the fractal nature of the Great Wave and included a link to the Mandlebrot set. Then someone else probably reverted-out the fractal comments but didn't bother to remove the Mandlebrot link. I'm just guessing, but that's the general way that Wiki articles "deteriorate" over time.
Doesn't this look like "The Great Wave"?
It's a shame there isn't a "search all article versions" feature by which we could confirm or deny my theory. :-)
Atlant 15:26, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Thats what I was thinking happened. Heh, I have wished for a "search all article versions" feature a few times myself. --Syrthiss 18:10, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

The Great Wave of Kanagawa[edit]

I found that putting in his most famous work "The Great Wave of Kanagawa" produced no results. Going to the kanagawa article also produced no results. Only after looking up tidal wave -> tsunami I got a link to this artist. I don't know how to fix this but "The Great Wave of Kanagawa" should link to this page.

By the way, you can conveniently sign your "talk" post by ending them with four tildes (~~~~). When you finally press (Save page), this not only adds your username in a handy Wikilinked form, but also supplies a timestamp for your post.
Atlant 21:36, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Title of the wave picture[edit]

Why is the picture of the wave first described in this article as "In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa" and later in the article as "Beneath the Great Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa"? That's quite confusing! --Blenda Lovelace 17:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I guess they are both valid translations? --maru (talk) Contribs 17:59, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, possibly, but wouldn't it be less confusing to use only one of these translations? --Blenda
I agree with Blenda. The Japanese name, "Kanagawa oki nami ura", is best translated by some names I've seen in books: "Beneath the Wave Off Kanagawa", "Under the Wave Off Kanagawa (Great Wave)", and to a lesser extent, "The Great Wave at Kanagawa" (the 'ura', beneath, is ignored). Though 'In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa' technically fits the bill, it is somewhat exaggerated (no mentions of hollows or coasts). --terry 22:02, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Unless theres an article for the picture itself, it should be included somewhere that it has multiple names, and list them. Highlandlord 12:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't really have multiple names, except to the extent that any title can be translated into any other language in several different ways. If translations do need to be discussed, 36 Views of Mount Fuji (Hokusai) is the best place for now. Henry Flower 12:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Is there a citation for this translation? howch e ng {chat} 23:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Or how about we refer to it in its original Japanese name with the translation in parentheses and then have a section about translation of the title? — Jared Hunt September 13, 2006, 23:49 (UTC)
That seems like a very sensible approach.
Atlant 00:41, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I would just like to point out that there is an article for the picture itself - The Great Wave off Kanagawa. There is some good discussion of the translations in the talk page but perhaps some of that could be added to/expanded on in the (picture) article itself.Roesmoker 23:59, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


I've heard somewhere Hokusai painted the hummingbird (correctly) as hovering in the air w/o support, contradicting the conventional wisdom of his time and more than a hundred years before the question has been settled by photography - is it true? 15:25, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Status of the Great Wave print in Japan[edit]

Hello. The article says it was ‘The Great Wave’ print that initially received, and continues to receive, acclaim and popularity in the Western world. What is the status of the Great Wave print in Japan? Is it as famous or highly regarded as it is in the West? Maybe someone can address this point in the article. Happy editing, Wile E. Heresiarch 04:09, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

nom d'artiste[edit]

I post this here, because there is no information on what nom d'artiste is. While I didnt look very hard, I couldn't find any information about it.

I think its french, so it'd be nice to have the explination as to why it's used... if it means pen-name, (like I think it means) why not say that somewhere? for the benifit of other people like me who don't think of that. Thanks. 04:45, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

It's similar to a nom de plume but for artists - i.e., a name one uses to sign artwork. For Hokusai it's actually pretty relevant because he changed his so many times over the course of his career. Not sure what would be the best way to indicate that in the article, though. I will leave it to more experienced Wikians to judge if it's necessary or appropriate to provide a definition. Roesmoker 23:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Citizendium article[edit]

Hi all, I wrote what I hope is a larger/better bio page for Hokusai, which is now available on Citizendium here. I don't have the time or energy to merge that with what's already here, but if someone else feels up to it I hope they will do it; he deserves a bit longer entry than we have here now. If so, make sure to click on the 'Works', 'Bibliography' etc tabs, as a lot of useful info is on these subsidiary pages. Noel (talk) 16:58, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Death date[edit]

There's a bit of a contradiction here for death dates. The infobox says 18 April, while the Biography section claims 10 May. --Gwern (contribs) 04:38 4 March 2008 (GMT)

Both Forrer and Lane give it as 10 May (in the Western calendar - 18th day of the 4th month in the Japanese, which is the source of the error). I have fixed the infobox. Noel (talk) 17:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The birth date was similarly confused. It is also (according to WP:ja and quick googling seems to confirm this) not known for certain. I assume that even if some Proper Printed Book confidently asserts a precise date, that does not override other sources which say "Approx." or "Perhaps".
Imaginatorium (talk) 19:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

how did he die[edit]

How did Katsushika Hokusai die?--xgmx (T | C | D | R | DR)


The English version of the article says he chose "Gakyō Rōjin Manji" as a nickname in his later years, but the Japanese version separates it into two different names that he used at the time, "Gakyō Rōjin" (画狂老人) and "Manji" (卍). Can anyone clarify this? Douggers (talk) 02:47, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't even know how he died. However if you want more information, you could try the Art wiki. Or you can try Yahoo! Answers, Google Answers, SS Free Answers, Wiki Answers, or Live QnA.--xgmx (T | C | D | R | DR)


Why is there no reference to his production of erotic prints? (talk) 04:08, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Greater Scope[edit]

Perhaps along with the Shunga comment above, I noticed there is no mention of his "One Hundred Tales" from which at least two other famous works by him come from (the Banchō Sarayashiki and the lantern ghost painting). There should definitely be mention of this. The article focuses mostly just on his "Views" series... (talk) 14:09, 15 December 2011 (UTC)


In the West, the artist may be known for his woodblock print of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.[1]? Why remove this? Has a wikilink and a reference. And also see discussion above. Hafspajen (talk) 03:51, 17 March 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Kleiner, Fred S. and Christin J. Mamiya, (2009). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: Non-Western Perspectives, p. 115.

Dead Link[edit]

Not Found. The requested URL "/collections/search_art.asp?coll_artist=Hokusai" was not found on this server. -- (talk) 16:57, 14 August 2014 (UTC)


"Hokusai holds a central role in my current view of fractals as a notion familiar to man, in one form or another, since time immemorial."

Mandelbrot, Benoit (2013). Fractals and Chaos: The Mandelbrot Set and Beyond. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4757-4017-2. 

Mandelbrot gives The Great Wave, Raiden Spirit of Thunder and Kirifuri Waterfall as examples.

Mandelbrot, Benoit; Novak, Miroslav Michal (2004). Thinking in Patterns: Fractals and Related Phenomena in Nature. World Scientific. p. 180. ISBN 978-981-270-274-6. 

Also an article in Notes and Records shows how Hokusai demonstrates awareness of self-similarity in his 1812 Ryakuga Haya-oshie textbook on how to copy shapes from nature.

Cartwright, Julyan H.E.; Nakamura, Hisami (25 February 2009). "What kind of a wave is Hokusai's Great wave off Kanagawa?". Notes and Records: the Royal Society journal of the history of science. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2007.0039. 

Not sure if it's worth mentioning in the article, but I found it interesting. --Hillbillyholiday talk 05:04, 5 January 2017 (UTC)