Proposal for Hokusai Exhibit at British Museum Contentious (News)


Obuse, Nagano, Dec. 30 (Jiji Press)—Renowned ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai has been attracting renewed attention in Japan.

In November, the Sumida Hokusai Museum opened in Tokyo's Sumida Ward, where Hokusai (1760–1849) spent most of his life, displaying about 1,800 items, including artworks and documents. The artist has recently been featured in a television program.

In the midst of the latest Hokusai boom, the Hokusai-kan museum in the town of Obuse, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, is discussing a proposal to loan one of its exhibits to the British Museum. Hokusai, highly acclaimed for such works as the Fugaku Sanjūrokkei (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji), spent his later years in Obuse.

Hopes are growing in the local community that the project will increase its number of visitors, but concerns about heavy costs have left the proposal contentious and divisive.

The museum is looking at plans to lend Kammachi Festival Float to the British Museum in London. The ceiling of the 4.8-meter-tall float has Hokusai paintings of waves, one of the signature elements of his works. The float's stage features a carved wooden figure of a character from the Chinese classical novel Shui hu zhuan (Water Margin) that is said to have been created under Hokusai's supervision.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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