Katsushika Hokusai, ‘The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse: Fujiwara no Yoshitaka’, Scholten Japanese Art
Katsushika Hokusai, ‘The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse: Fujiwara no Yoshitaka’, Scholten Japanese Art

bands of hot steam waft up from a bathouse, two men at the lower right corner are seen enjoying the hot bath, while two women and two men clad in cotton yukata enjoy the view from a verandah; signed zen Hokusai Manji, with publisher's seal of Iseya Sanjiro and censor's kiwame seal, ca. 1835-6

The print references the poem by Fujiwara no Yoshitaka:

Kimi ga tame
Oshikarazarishi
Inochi sae
Nagaku mo gana to
Omoikeru kanai

For they precious sake,
Once my eager life itself
Was not dear to me.
But 'tis now my heart's deisre
It may long, long years endure.

This impression differs slightly than the impression used in the Morse book which utilizes a faint yellow block in the area below the cormorant and to the left of the rooftop in the foreground- where the publisher and censor seals fade into the yellow cloud. In this impression (presumably slightly later), that area has a new cloud block, here printed in blue, with cut-outs to allow for the seals to be read more clearly. Although it stands to reason that this impression, with this small improvement, is probably a later impression, the lack of evidence of wear to the blocks indicates that it is nevertheless a relatively early impression. As Morse comments in his entry regarding this print, the separately identifiable states are 'evidence to show that Hokusai's One Hundred Poets prints were popular with the Edo public during the period when they were being produced.'

Publisher: Iseya Sanjiro

Matthi Forrer with texts by Edmond de Goncourt, Hokusai, 1988, p. 345, no. 433
Peter Morse, Hokusai: One Hundred Poets, 1989, pp. 112-113, no. 50
Matthi Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and Drawings, 1991, no. 82
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai: Il vecchio pazzo per la pittura, 1999, p. 390, no. VI.12.7
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai, 2003, p. 381, VI.12.7
Ann Yonemura, Hokusai, 2006, p. 101, no. 69

About Katsushika Hokusai

Adhering to a common Japanese practice with extreme frequency, Katsushika Hokusai transitioned between upwards of 30 pseudonyms throughout his career, each correlating to a different period or style. Despite the many changes, his surname prevails—Hokusai—which unites the surplus of monikers into a single legacy for the artist, printmaker, and ukiyo-e painter. In his early work, Hokusai depicted the traditional subject matter of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, Kabuki actors; however, he monumentally revolutionized the medium by shifting his focus to landscapes and images of daily life in Japan. Hokusai is best-known for his woodblock series, “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” (1831), which mastered the landscape while exploring the relationship between man and environment, and contained the The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which remains one of the most universally recognized icons of Japanese art.

Japanese, 1760-1849, Tokyo, Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan