Friday, July 24, 2009

The Great Wave at Kanagawa

This woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai, from A Series of 36 views of Mount Fuji, is one of the most popular, most frequently reproduced works I've seen since moving to Japan a year and a half ago. I mean, this thing is on mouse pads and magnets, coasters, notebooks, T-shirts ... name it, it's on there. And yet despite the overexposure, I still like it. And then today I go to see my eye doctor in Manhattan (the kids and I are in the U.S. for most of the summer) and there's a framed print of it hanging up in the waiting room, with a caption that reads, "Department of Far Eastern Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The damned thing has been here in the home city all along! And so now I must go see it. The boys are due for another visit with the arms and armor anyhow...

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