Hokusai: One Hundred Poets

Overview

This lavishly illustrated, oversized (17" x 10") book brings together the last major print series of the celebrated Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) and the Japanese poetry that inspired these beautiful prints.

Whether showing semi-nude women abalone divers struggling with their catch while a male crew of shriveled old salts leers from a nearby boat, or the carefree rapture of a leisurely group of men and women observing cherry blossoms at their peak, Hokusai captures, with ...

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Overview

This lavishly illustrated, oversized (17" x 10") book brings together the last major print series of the celebrated Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) and the Japanese poetry that inspired these beautiful prints.

Whether showing semi-nude women abalone divers struggling with their catch while a male crew of shriveled old salts leers from a nearby boat, or the carefree rapture of a leisurely group of men and women observing cherry blossoms at their peak, Hokusai captures, with drama and delicacy, sublime and ridiculous states. The artist's simplicity, though deceptive, is also remarkable: he illustrates a poem about a lovers' seaside tryst with a magnificently imposing yet unadorned sailing vessel, its small window offering a coy glimpse of the fortunate couple inside.

Each of the 111 color prints (as well as 41 black-and-white sketches of projected prints apparently never completed) is accompanied by the poem, in Japanese and English, a biographical note on the poet and by Peter Morse's comments on literary and artistic intention and execution.

Author Biography: Peter Morse is Research Associate at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. A renowned connoisseur of Japanese prints, he is currently completing the catalogue raissoné of Hokusai's work.

Hokusai's illustrations to the One Hundred Poems, a 13th century anthology of Japanese poetry. Eighty-nine extant images are assembled here for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The last major print series of the celebrated Hokusai (1760-1849), these color ``Pictures of 100 Poems by 100 Poets, Explained by the Nurse''sic interpret traditional Japanese waka and tanka poetic forms visually by means of the persona of a ``nurse'' who functions as a less sophisticated viewer and commentator than the artist himself. The results are spectacular. Whether showing semi-nude women abalone divers struggling with their catch while a male crew of shriveled old salts leers from a nearby boat, or the carefree rapture of a leisurely group of men and women observing cherry blossoms at their peak, Hokusai captures with drama and delicacy sublime and ridiculous states. The artist's simplicity, though deceptive, is also remarkable: he illustrates a poem about a lovers' seaside tryst with a magnificently imposing yet unadorned sailing vessel, its small window offering a coy glimpse of the fortunate couple inside. Each print (as well as 41 black-and-white sketches of projected prints apparently never completed) is accompanied by the poem, in Japanese and English, a biographical note on the poet and by Morse's comments on literary and artistic intention and execution. Morse is a research associate at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. (Sept.)
Library Journal
These works illustrate two different approaches to the study of an individual artist. Hickman and Sato offer the first major study in English on Jakuchu (1716-1800), a highly individualistic Japanese painter who was master of both monochrome ink on paper and polychrome on silk. The authors are careful to place Jakuchu in historical context; in addition to providing an introduction to painting in Kyoto in the 18th century, they also discuss the known details of Jakuchu's life and work. About half the book, which is a catalog to the first major exhibition of Jakuchu's work in the United States, consists of 97 color plates with extensive commentary. Hickman and Sato have produced a thorough work that should prove valuable for all collections with an interest in Japanese painting. In contrast, Morse concerns himself with only one work of the great Hokusai (1760-1849), saying nothing at all about the master's life or oeuvre other than what is revealed in that work. This was Hokusai's last great series of prints, which he did not live to complete. One Hundred Poets is a teaching anthology of Japanese poetry, completed in 1235 yet still as popular today as in Hokusai's time. The artist planned a print to accompany each poem but completed only 27 prints, although designs for 64 more still exist. Eighty-nine of these are reproduced here, along with the Japanese and English texts of the poems and Morse's insightful commentary on the poet, the poem, and the picture. This specialized work for the scholar or collector deserves a place in academic and special libraries.-- Patricia R. Hausman, Coll. of William and Mary Lib., Williamsburg, Va.
Booknews
Morse (Honolulu Academy of Arts) examines the series of prints in the context of all of Hokusai's works, and explains the importance of the "One Hundred Poems" anthology within Japanese cultural life. This volume assembles for the first time reproductions of all 89 images and thus displays the extraordinary range of Hokusai's pictorial imagination and powers of invention. The extraordinarily fine printing was done by Dai Nippon (much of it in color). The poems are rendered in English and (Romanized) Japanese. Exceeds the high standards of Braziller. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807612132
  • Publisher: Braziller, George Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 14.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    Beautifully printed and informative on the paintings and the poe

    Beautifully printed and informative on the paintings and the poems that go with them. Highly recommended!

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