Katsushika Hokusai: Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai

Title: Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province

Date: c. 1830 - 1834

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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The print depicts morning in a village near a river. Some travelers are already on the road, and others, in front of inns, are getting ready to leave. Foretelling the sunrise, Fuji stands against the pink sky, a red light on its summit, while its main body is still black. The river and the road are also dark, dotted by yellow circular straw hats. Although the composition is ordinary, crowded with too many people and houses and lacking a strong focal point, Hokusai handles nature’s light changes superbly. Isawa is a small town on the bank of the Fuefuki (literally, flute-playing) River on the Köshü highway that connects Edo and Köshü (present-day Yamanashi prefecture) and Lake Suwa. In this print the Fuefuki River is seen behind the village, heavily covered by the morning mist. On the right side, a bridge is beginning to be visible. The key-block was printed in black. (The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, HOKUSAI AND HIROSHIGE – Great Japanese Prints from the James A. Michener Collection, Honolulu Academy of Arts: The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1998 Page 95. Cat. 46)

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