Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

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The Great Wave off Kanagawa, the best known print in the series

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. Despite its name, it actually consists of 46 prints, with 10 of them being added after the initial publication.

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 (or The Great Wave); Fine Wind, Clear Morning; and Rainstorm Beneath the Summit.[1] The series 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[3] 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."[4]

The most famous single image from the series is widely known in English as The Great Wave off Kanagawa. It depicts three boats being threatened by a large wave while Mount Fuji rises in the background. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is more likely to be an exceptionally large storm wave.[5]

Each of the images was made through a process whereby an image drawn on paper was used to guide the carving of a wood block. This 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.

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 series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and Hokusai's subsequent book One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.[4] From c. 1889 to 1892, the series of Thirty-six Bizarre Selections of Transformation [ja], the parody of number 36, was produced by Yoshitoshi, and published by Sasaki Toyokichi [ja].

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]

These images are of modern facsimile prints made using the same techniques.

No. Image English title Japanese title
1 Great Wave off Kanagawa2.jpg The Great Wave off Kanagawa 神奈川沖浪裏

Kanagawa oki nami-ura

2 Red Fuji southern wind clear morning.jpg Fine Wind, Clear Morning, also known as South Wind, Clear Sky or Red Fuji 凱風快晴

Gaifū kaisei

3 Lightnings below the summit.jpg Rainstorm Beneath the Summit 山下白雨

Sanka hakuu

4 Fuji seen through the Mannen bridge at Fukagawa.jpg Under Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa 深川万年橋下

Fukagawa Mannen-bashi shita

5 The Fuji seen from the Mishima pass.jpg Sundai, Edo 東都駿台

Tōto sundai

6 The coast of seven leages in Kamakura.jpg Cushion Pine at Aoyama 青山円座松

Aoyama enza-no-matsu

7 Senju in the Musachi provimce.jpg Senju, Musashi But 武州千住

Bushū Senju

8 Inume pass in the Kai province.jpg Inume Pass, Kōshū 甲州犬目峠

Kōshū inume-tōge

9 Fujimi Fuji view field in the Owari province.jpg Fuji View Field in Owari Province 尾州不二見原

Bishū Fujimigahara

10 Ejiri in the Suruga province.jpg Ejiri in Suruga Province 駿州江尻

Sunshū Ejiri

11 A sketch of the Mitsui shop in Suruga street in Edo.jpg 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 Miseryakuzu

12 Sunset across the Ryogoku bridge from the bank of the Sumida river at Onmagayashi.jpg 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

13 Sazai hall - 500 Rakan temples.jpg Sazai hall - Temple of Five Hundred Rakan 五百らかん寺さざゐどう

Gohyaku-rakanji Sazaidō

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

Koishikawa yuki no ashita

15 Shimomeguro.jpg Shimomeguro 下目黒


16 Watermill at Onden.jpg Watermill at Onden 隠田の水車

Onden no suisha

17 Enoshima in the Sagami province.jpg Enoshima in Sagami Province 相州江の島

Soshū Enoshima

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

Tōkaidō Ejiri tago-no-uraryakuzu

19 Yoshida at Tokaido.jpg Yoshida at Tōkaidō 東海道吉田

Tōkaidō Yoshida

20 The Kazusa sea route.jpg The Kazusa Province sea route 上総の海路

Kazusa no kairo

21 Nihonbashi bridge in Edo.jpg Nihonbashi bridge in Edo 江戸日本橋

Edo Nihon-bashi

22 Village of Sekiya at Sumida river.jpg Barrier Town on the Sumida River 隅田川関屋の里

Sumidagawa Sekiya no sato

23 Bay of Noboto.jpg Bay of Noboto 登戸浦


24 The lake of Hakone in the Segami province.jpg The lake of Hakone in Sagami Province 相州箱根湖水

Sōshū Hakone kosui

25 The Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka pass in the Kai province.jpg Mount Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka Pass in Kai Province 甲州三坂水面

Kōshū Misaka suimen

26 Hodogaya on the Tokaido.jpg Hodogaya on the Tōkaidō 東海道程ケ谷

Tōkaidō Hodogaya

27 Tama river in the Musashi province.jpg Tama River in Musashi Province 武州玉川

Bushū Tamagawa

28 Asakusa Honganji temple in th Eastern capital.jpg Asakusa Hongan-ji temple in the Eastern capital [Edo] 東都浅草本願寺

Tōto Asakusa honganji

29 Tsukada Island in the Musashi province.jpg Tsukuda Island in Musashi Province 武陽佃島

Buyō Tsukuda-jima

30 Shichiri beach in Sagami province.jpg Shichiri beach in Sagami Province 相州七里浜

Soshū Shichiri-ga-hama

31 Umegawa in Sagami province.jpg Umezawa in Sagami Province 相州梅沢庄

Soshū umezawanoshō

32 Kajikazawa in Kai province.jpg Kajikazawa in Kai Province 甲州石班沢

Kōshū Kajikazawa

33 Mishima pass in Kai province.jpg Mishima Pass in Kai Province 甲州三嶌越

Kōshū Mishima-goe

34 The Fuji from the mountains of Totomi.jpg Mount Fuji from the mountains of Tōtōmi 遠江山中

Tōtōumi sanchū

35 Lake Suwa in the Shinano province.jpg A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa (Lake Suwa in Shinano Province) 信州諏訪湖

Shinshū Suwa-ko

36 Ushibori in the Hitachi province.jpg Ushibori in Hitachi Province 常州牛掘

Jōshū Ushibori

Additional 10[edit]

Image English title Japanese title
1 Katsushika Hokusai, Goten-yama hill, Shinagawa on the Tōkaidō, ca. 1832.jpg Goten-yama-hill, Shinagawa on the Tōkaidō 東海道品川御殿山の不二

Tōkaidō Shinagawa Goten'yama no Fuji

2 Honjo Tatekawa, the timberyard at Honjo.jpg Honjo Tatekawa, the timberyard at Honjo, Sumida 本所立川

Honjo Tatekawa

3 Nakahara in the Sagami province.jpg Pleasure District at Senju 従千住花街眺望の不二

Senju Hana-machi Yori Chōbō no Fuji

4 Soshu Nakahara.jpg Nakahara in Sagami Province 相州仲原

Sōshū Nakahara

5 Ono Shindon in the Suraga province.jpg Ōno Shinden in Suruga Province 駿州大野新田

Sunshū Ōno-shinden

6 Climbing on Mt. Fuji.jpg Climbing on Fuji 諸人登山

Shojin tozan

7 The Tea plantation of Katakura in the Suruga province.jpg The Tea plantation of Katakura in Suruga Province 駿州片倉茶園の不二

Sunshū Katakura chaen no Fuji

8 The Fuji from Kanaya on the Tokaido.jpg The Fuji from Kanaya on the Tōkaidō 東海道金谷の不二

Tōkaidō Kanaya no Fuji

9 Dawn at Isawa in the Kai province.jpg Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province 甲州伊沢暁

Kōshū Isawa no Akatsuki

10 The back of the Fuji from the Minobu river.jpg 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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Calza, p. 30
  2. ^ a b Calza, p. 470
  3. ^ Smith, Henry (1988). One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500235188.
  4. ^ a b Smith
  5. ^ Cartwright Julyan H.E.; Nakamura Hisami (2009-06-20). "What kind of a wave is Hokusai's Great wave off Kanagawa?". Notes and Records of the Royal Society. 63 (2): 119–135. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2007.0039.
  6. ^ "Costa Concordia: Threat of treasure hunters". To Be A Travel Agent.
  7. ^ "Hokusai Features Legendary Artist, Best Known for Iconic Great Wave".
  8. ^ "Hokusai".


  • 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.

External links[edit]