Hokusai’s The giant mountain man (c.1812)
HOKUSAI, the most famous artist in the history of Japan, was born Kawamura Tokitaro and he died Fujiwara Iitsu. Along the way he changed his name thirty times, for his thirty rebirths in art or in life, and he moved house ninety-three times.
He never shed his poverty, even though he worked from dawn to dusk and created no less than thirty thousand etchings and paintings.
About his work, he wrote:
” Of all I drew prior to the age of seventy, there is truly nothing of great note. At the age of seventy-two, I finally apprehended something of the true quality of birds, animals, insects, fish, and of the vital nature of grases and trees. At one hundred, I shall have become truly marvelous.”
Unfortunately, he did not live beyond ninety.