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Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

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The Great Wave off Kanagawa, the best known print in the series (20th century reprint). Mount Fuji is in the center distance.

Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Japanese: 富嶽三十六景, Hepburn: Fugaku Sanjūrokkei) is a series of landscape prints by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai (1760–1849). The series depicts Mount Fuji from different locations and in various seasons and weather conditions. The immediate success of the publication led to another ten prints being added to the series.

The series was produced from c. 1830 to 1832, when Hokusai was in his seventies and at the height of his career, and published by Nishimura Yohachi.[1][2] Among the prints are three of Hokusai's most famous: The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Fine Wind, Clear Morning, and Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit.[1] The lesser-known Kajikazawa in Kai Province is also considered one of the series' best works.[3] The Thirty-six Views has been described as the artist's "indisputable colour-print masterpiece".[2]


Mount Fuji is a popular subject for Japanese art due to its cultural and religious significance. This belief can be traced to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, where a goddess deposits the elixir of life on the peak. As the historian Henry Smith[4] explains, "Thus from an early time, Mt. Fuji was seen as the source of the secret of immortality, a tradition that was at the heart of Hokusai's own obsession with the mountain."[5]

Each image was made through a process whereby Hokusai's drawing on paper was glued to a woodblock to guide the carving. The original design is therefore lost in the process. The block was then covered with ink and applied to paper to create the image (see Woodblock printing in Japan for further details). The complexity of Hokusai's images includes the wide range of colors he used, which required the use of a separate block for each color appearing in the image.

The earliest prints in the series were made with largely blue tones (aizuri-e), including the key blocks which provide an image's outlines.[2] Prussian blue pigment had not long been introduced to Japan from Europe and Hokusai used it extensively, ensuring its popularity. Once the publisher, Nishimura, was sure of the series' success, prints were made with multiple colours (nishiki-e). Nishimura had planned to expand the series to more than a hundred prints, but publication stopped at forty-six.[6]

The most famous single image from the series is widely known in English as The Great Wave off Kanagawa. It is Hokusai's most celebrated work and is often considered the most recognizable work of Japanese art in the world. Another iconic work from Thirty-six Views is Fine Wind, Clear Morning, also known as Red Fuji, which has been described as "one of the simplest and at the same time one of the most outstanding of all Japanese prints".[7]


While Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is the most famous ukiyo-e series to focus on Mount Fuji, there are several other works with the same subject, including Hiroshige's later series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and Hokusai's subsequent book One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji (published 1834–1835).[5]

In his 1896 book on Hokusai, French art critic Edmond de Goncourt wrote that despite its "rather crude colors", it was, "the album which inspires the landscapes of the impressionists of the present moment."[2] The French artist Henri Rivière (1864–1951) published the set of color lithographs "Thirty-six views of the Tour Eiffel" in 1902, inspired by the seminal print set of Hokusai, one of the many influences of Japanese art on late 19th century and early 20th century French art (Japonism, known as "Japonisme" in French)


Original thirty-six[edit]

No. Image English title Japanese title
The Great Wave off Kanagawa 神奈川沖浪裏

Kanagawa oki nami-ura

Fine Wind, Clear Morning, also known as South Wind, Clear Sky or Red Fuji 凱風快晴

Gaifū kaisei

Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit 山下白雨

Sanka hakuu

Under Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa 深川万年橋下

Fukagawa Mannen-bashi shita

Sundai, Edo 東都駿台

Tōto Sundai

The Cushion Pine at Aoyama 青山円座松

Aoyama Enza-no-matsu

Senju in Musashi Province 武州千住

Bushū Senju

Inume Pass in Kai Province 甲州犬目峠

Kōshū Inume-tōge

Fujimi Field in Owari Province 尾州不二見原

Bishū Fujimigahara

Ejiri in Suruga Province 駿州江尻

Sunshū Ejiri

A sketch of the Mitsui shop in Suruga in Edo (present-day Muromachi, Tokyo) 江都駿河町三井見世略図

Kōto Suruga-cho Mitsui-mise ryakuzu

Sunset across the Ryōgoku bridge from the bank of the Sumida River at Onmayagashi 御厩川岸より両国橋夕陽見

Ommayagashi yori ryōgoku-bashi yūhi mi

Sazai hall – Temple of Five Hundred Rakan 五百らかん寺さざゐどう

Gohyaku-rakanji Sazaidō

Tea house at Koishikawa. The morning after a snowfall 礫川雪の旦

Koishikawa yuki no ashita

Shimomeguro 下目黒


Watermill at Onden 隠田の水車

Onden no suisha

Enoshima in Sagami Province 相州江の島

Soshū Enoshima

Shore of Tago Bay, Ejiri at Tōkaidō 東海道江尻田子の浦略図

Tōkaidō Ejiri tago-no-uraryakuzu

Yoshida at Tōkaidō 東海道吉田

Tōkaidō Yoshida

The Kazusa Province sea route 上総の海路

Kazusa no kairo

Nihonbashi bridge in Edo 江戸日本橋

Edo Nihon-bashi

Barrier Town on the Sumida River 隅田川関屋の里

Sumidagawa Sekiya no sato

Bay of Noboto 登戸浦


The lake of Hakone in Sagami Province 相州箱根湖水

Sōshū Hakone kosui

Mount Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka Pass in Kai Province 甲州三坂水面

Kōshū Misaka suimen

Hodogaya on the Tōkaidō 東海道保土ケ谷

Tōkaidō Hodogaya

Tama River in Musashi Province 武州玉川

Bushū Tamagawa

Asakusa Hongan-ji temple in the Eastern capital [Edo] 東都浅草本願寺

Tōto Asakusa honganji

Tsukuda Island in Musashi Province 武陽佃島

Buyō Tsukuda-jima

Shichiri beach in Sagami Province 相州七里浜

Soshū Shichiri-ga-hama

Umezawa in Sagami Province 相州梅沢庄

Soshū umezawanoshō

Kajikazawa in Kai Province 甲州石班沢

Kōshū Kajikazawa

Mishima Pass in Kai Province 甲州三嶌越

Kōshū Mishima-goe

Mount Fuji from the mountains of Tōtōmi 遠江山中

Tōtōumi sanchū

A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa (Lake Suwa in Shinano Province) 信州諏訪湖

Shinshū Suwa-ko

Ushibori in Hitachi Province 常州牛掘

Jōshū Ushibori

Additional 10[edit]

No. Image English title Japanese title
Goten-yama-hill, Shinagawa on the Tōkaidō 東海道品川御殿山の不二

Tōkaidō Shinagawa Goten'yama no Fuji

Honjo Tatekawa, the timberyard at Honjo, Sumida 本所立川

Honjo Tatekawa

Pleasure District at Senju 従千住花街眺望の不二

Senju Hana-machi Yori Chōbō no Fuji

Nakahara in Sagami Province 相州仲原

Sōshū Nakahara

Ōno Shinden in Suruga Province 駿州大野新田

Sunshū Ōno-shinden

Climbing on Fuji 諸人登山

Shojin tozan

The Tea plantation of Katakura in Suruga Province 駿州片倉茶園の不二

Sunshū Katakura chaen no Fuji

The Fuji from Kanaya on the Tōkaidō 東海道金谷の不二

Tōkaidō Kanaya no Fuji

Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province 甲州伊沢暁

Kōshū Isawa no Akatsuki

The back of Fuji from the Minobu river 身延川裏不二

Minobu-gawa ura Fuji


A collection of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji prints contained in the wellness spa of the Costa Concordia was lost during the collision of the ship on January 13, 2012.[8]

All forty-six prints (the original thirty-six plus the ten additions) were featured in the exhibition "Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji" at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art, in the spring of 2012.

The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji prints were displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as part of a Hokusai exhibit April 5 through August 9, 2015.[9]

The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji prints were displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia as part of a Hokusai exhibit 21 July through 22 October 2017, featuring two copies of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, one from the NGV and one from Japan Ukiyo-e Museum.[10]

There are fewer than 10 complete sets of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, with prominent pieces held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MFA Boston, the British Museum, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.[11]


Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is often sold in prominent auction houses focused on Japanese art, such as that of Christie's, Sotheby's, Bonhams, etc.[11]

In 2002, a complete set sold at Sotheby's went for $1.47 million, through an anonymous buyer.[11]

In 2013, another complete set was assembled by Dr. Jintendra V. Singh, a professor from Wharton School, who was inspired by Mt. Fuji from seeing the mountain on flights to Japan as well as his previous Hindu pilgrimages to Mount Everest and Mount Kailash. He purchased Fuji Seen From Kanaya on the Tokaido first, with the iconic pieces acquired from 2014-2016, the final print was acquired in January 2023.[11]

On 19 March 2024, the Singh collection went onto auction at Christie's, which then sold for $3.559 million from an estimated bid of $3-5 million. The proceeds has gone into Singh's trust.[11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Calza, p. 30
  2. ^ a b c d Calza, p. 470
  3. ^ Calza, p. 472
  4. ^ Smith, Henry (1988). One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500235188.
  5. ^ a b Smith
  6. ^ Calza, p. 230
  7. ^ Calza, p. 471
  8. ^ "Costa Concordia: Threat of treasure hunters". To Be A Travel Agent.
  9. ^ "Hokusai Features Legendary Artist, Best Known for Iconic Great Wave".
  10. ^ "Hokusai".
  11. ^ a b c d e Fabrikant, Geraldine (2024-03-18). "One Collector's High Mountain Road to Hokusai - The New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2024-03-18. Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  12. ^ "LIVE AUCTION 22643 - JAPANESE AND KOREAN ART Lot 135: Fugaku sanjurokkei (Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji)". Christie's. March 2024. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  13. ^ NEWS, KYODO. "Hokusai's rare Mt. Fuji collection sold for $3.6 mil. at N.Y. auction". Kyodo News+. Retrieved 2024-03-21.


  • Nagata, Seiji (1999). Hokusai: Genius of the Japanese Ukiyo-e. Kodansha, Tokyo.
  • Smith, Henry D. II (1988). Hokusai: One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji. George Braziller, Inc., Publishers, New York. ISBN 0-8076-1195-6.
  • Calza, Gian Carlo (2003). Hokusai. Phaidon. ISBN 0714844578.
  • Balcou, Amelie (2019). "Hokusai: Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji". Prestel. ISBN 978-3791386072.
  • Marks, Andreas (2021). "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji". Taschen, New York. ISBN 978-3836575720.
  • Price, Jonathan Reeve (2020). "Viewing Hokusai Viewing Mount Fuji". Communication Circle, Albuquerque, New Mexico. ISBN 978-0-9719954-7-5.
  • Thompson, Sarah (2019). "Hokusai's Landscapes: The Complete Series". MFA Publications, Boston. ISBN 978-0878468669.
  • Zelazny, Roger (1985). "24 Views of Mount Fuji". In "Cthulu 2000: Stories" (1995). Arkham House, Sauk City, WI. ISBN 978-0345422033

External links[edit]