Hokusai and the Samurai World

  • Art
  1. 北斎サムライ画伝
    画像提供:すみだ北斎美術館葛飾北斎「冨嶽三十六景 従千住花街眺望ノ不二」すみだ北斎美術館蔵(通期)※半期で同タイトルの作品に展示替え
  2. 北斎サムライ画伝

Time Out says

Dedicated to legendary painter and woodblock print artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), the Sumida Hokusai Museum presents an exhibition that introduces the artist's approach to depicting the human form, via work featuring samurai. The assembled prints demonstrate that even when portraying this formidable warrior class clad in armour, Hokusai had an ability to gracefully express the movement of his subjects. He also put great care into rendering facial expressions.

The samurai aspect of Hokusai’s work forms part of what is known as musha-e, a late-18th century sub-genre of ukiyo-e that focused on samurai and other warriors from both history and mythology. Hokusai’s depictions of the shogun who ruled over the samurai, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, are also featured in this exhibition.

Some of the battle scenes seen here might be said to rival 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa', the artist’s most celebrated creation, for expression of sheer power. As revealed here, however, Hokusai also depicted samurai in their less-discussed but equally fascinating peaceful activities around old Edo (present-day Tokyo).

Text by Darren Gore


¥1,200, seniors over 65 years old ¥900, university & high school students ¥900, junior high school students ¥400, elementary school students & younger, free
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm (last entry 5pm)
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