Museum in Nagano Prefecture Houses Paintings from Hokusai’s Late Years

Guide to Japan Culture Art Travel

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Japan’s world-renowned woodblock artist, also produced masterful brush paintings. A number of these works now form the core of the collection at the Hokusai Museum (Hokusai-Kan) in Obuse, a small town in Nagano Prefecture. When he was in his eighties, Hokusai made four visits to Obuse at the invitation of Takai Kōzan, a local magnate, and devoted himself to painting. At Kōzan’s request, he painted festival floats for two local districts, Higashimachi and Kanmachi. Particularly striking are the images of a dragon and a phoenix that he painted on the ceiling of the Higashimachi float. Both paintings rank among the masterpieces of Hokusai’s final years. The two floats—Hokusai’s only three-dimensional works—are on permanent display at the museum.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Goolight.)

Nagano Obuse museum Hokusai Goolight