Sazai Hall, Temple of Five Hundred Rakan, Hokusai Classic Round Sticker
Sazai Hall, Temple of Five Hundred Rakan. This woodblock print is is the 23rd in the series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. Print shows men and women standing on veranda at a temple, looking at Mount Fuji. Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景, Fugaku Sanjūrokkei) is an ukiyo-e series of large, color woodblock prints by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. The series depicts Mount Fuji in differing seasons and weather conditions from a variety of different places and distances. It actually consists of 46 prints created between 1826 and 1833. The first 36 were included in the original publication and, due to their popularity, ten more were added after the original publication. While Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji is the most famous ukiyo-e series to focus on Mount Fuji, there are several other series with the same subject, including Hiroshige's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and Hokusai's own later series One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is a popular subject for Japanese art due to its cultural and religious significance. This belief can be traced to The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, where a goddess deposits the elixir of life on the peak. As Henry Smith explains, "Thus from an early time, Mt. Fuji was seen as the source of the secret of immortality, a tradition that was at the heart of Hokusai's own obsession with the mountain." Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, 1760 – 1849) was a Japanese artist, Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.