Kanagawa-oki Nami Ura or The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai was published in 1831 as the first in his woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. The remarkable image features fishermen cowering in three skiffs under the wave about to crash down upon them. Mount Fuji can be seen in the distance unperturbed by the impending catastrophe.
It is likely that around 5,000 prints were made from Hokusai’s woodblock, although many of the originals were destroyed during periods of war or natural disasters.
Exclusive from the British Museum
11in x 14inUnder the Wave off Kanagawa ('The Great Wave'), from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, 1831
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Colour woodblock print
H 25.8 x W 37.9 cm
The British Museum, 2008,3008.1.JA
With contribution from Art Fund and Brooke Sewell Bequest
© 2023, The Trustees of the British Museum