Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian

50 Books: Hokusai!!!!!!!!!!

Simcha Fisher - published on 11/13/12

I wanted today’s book to have a nice tie-in with today’s post, but, it doesn’t.  But it has something much, much better:  HOKUSAI!

The book I looked over a thousand times when I was little is

Masterworks of Ukiyo-E: Hokusai Sketches and Paintings

If you think that Japanese art is stiff, formal and impenetrable to Western eyes, then your cure is HOKUSAI!  You probably know his famous “Great Wave off Kanagawa”

This is a woodblock print.  A WOODBLOCK PRINT.  Have you ever tried to do a print?  Okay.

But what I really remember from this book is his little portraits.  Tender, grotesque, hilarious, occasionally obscene, and all done with an economy of line that — I don’t even know how to say it.  It will slay you.

It’s my constant lament that we never manage to bring my kids to art museums.  I do try to copy my parents’ example and pick up large, colorful art books at book sales, though, and leave them lying around for the kids to leaf through.  (This has its perils, of course; just because it’s art doesn’t mean it’s okay for kids to see certain things!  So you have to use your common sense.)

If you kid is, like mine, into manga (which is also a constant lament of mine, but I try to keep it to myself), maybe you could introduce him to Hokusai.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and link to another book which I haven’t actually read, but which I’m thinking of getting for my kid:

Hokusai, First Manga Master

Here’s the blurb:

More than a hundred years before Japanese comics swept the globe, the master engraver Hokusai was producing beautiful, surreal, and often downright wacky sketches and drawings, filled with many of the characters and themes found in modernmanga. These out-of-context caricatures, which include studies of facial expressions, postures, and situations ranging from the mundane to the otherworldly, demonstrate both the artist’s style and his taste. In addition to the landscapes for which he is beloved, Hokusai’s mangas reveal his compassion for farmers, artisans, and peasants, as well as his keen eye for the absurd.

Hokusai!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s also fun to say.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
3
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
4
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More