Katsushika Hokusai was born in Warigesui, Honjo, Edo (now: Sumida,Tokyo) on October 31, 1760 (the 23rd day of the ninth month of the 10th year of the Japanese Hōreki era). He was one of Japan's most famous painters, a representative of the ukiyo-e ("images of the floating world" - prints with flowing, vivid lines and free compositions) genre. Later he focused on classical Japanese subjects and objects. As an artist, he was influenced by Chinese and Dutch landscape painting, as well as the traditional Japanese Kanō school.
Hokusai's art had an impact on the formation of Japaneseism in Europe. Japanese art of the time served as inspiration for Art Nouveau, Art Nouveau, and Impressionism. He began drawing the things around him at the age of six. At the age of 14, Hokusai employed himself as an apprentice to a woodcarver. Later he was accepted into the studio of the respected painter and printmaker Katsukawa Shunsho.
Hokusai traveled extensively and lived in about 100 different places. During his nearly ninety years of life, he had about thirty different pen names.
For a long time, his works were known only in Japan because of the political and geographical situation of the country, which remained closed to the rest of the world for more than two centuries (XVII-XIX century)
Katsushika Hokusai was a very passionate and prolific painter. He is credited with 30,000 works, including paintings, sketches, woodcuts, silk paintings and 500 illustrated books. He depicted landscapes, female beauties, erotic illustrations, samurai, sumo wrestlers and nature in a very poetic, sensual and somewhat melancholy way.
Katsushika Hokusai inspired and popularized the now very famous "manga" style of comic books. Manga are small narratives depicting human life, culture, social problems, and moments of everyday Japanese life.
His most famous series of prints is "36 Views of Mount Fuji," published between 1826 and 1833. The painting "The Great Wave" is one of the most famous works in this series and is now world famous.
On the 18th day of the fourth month of the Japanese calendar, May 10, 1849, Katsushika Hokusai died at Henjōin, Shōten-chō, Asakusa.