Your Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty!

Discover our bestsellers
Subtotal0 Items0
Go to Shopping Cart


Availability: In Stock
Meet the artist whose majestic wave sent ripples across the world. Hokusai, master artist and printmaker, is not only one of the giants of Japanese art but a father figure to Western modernism, inspiring a whole new notion of space for artists from Monet to Morisot, Cassatt to Klimt. Spanning erotic books, historical novels, and album prints, this introduction traces the full scope of Hokusai’s far-reaching portfolio.
Hardcover8.3 x 10.2 in.1.37 lb96 pages



The wave that swept the world

Hokusai, painter of the floating world

Meet the artist whose majestic breaking wave sent ripples across the world. Hokusai (1760–1849) is not only one of the giants of Japanese art and a legend of the Edo period, but also significantly influenced Western modernism, whose prolific gamut of prints, illustrations, paintings, and beyond forms one of the most comprehensive oeuvres of ukiyo-e art and a benchmark of japonisme. His influence spread through Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and beyond, enrapturing the likes of Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and Vincent van Gogh.

Hokusai was always a man on the move. He changed domicile more than 90 and used over 30 pseudonyms. In his art, he adopted the same restlessness, covering the complete spectrum of Japanese ukiyo-e,“pictures of the floating world”, from single-sheet prints of landscapes and actors to erotic books. In addition, he created album prints, illustrations for verse anthologies and historical novels, and surimono, which were privately issued prints for special occasions.

Hokusai’s print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, published between c. 1830 and 1834 is the artist’s most renowned work and, with its soaring peak through different seasons and from different vantage points, marked the towering summit of the Japanese landscape print. The series’ Under the Wave off Kanagawa, also known simply as The Great Wave, is one of the most recognized images of Japanese art in the world.

This TASCHEN introduction spans the length and breadth of Hokusai’s career with key pieces from his far-reaching portfolio. Through these meticulous, majestic works and series, we trace the variety of Hokusai’s subjects, from erotic books to historical novels, and the evolution of his vivid formalism and decisive delineation of space through color and line that would go on to liberate Western art from the constraints of its one-point perspective and unleash the modernist momentum.
The author

Rhiannon Paget studied at Tokyo University of the Arts and received her doctorate in Japanese Art History from the University of Sydney, Australia. The curator of Asian art at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, she has published research on Japanese woodblock prints, textiles, board games, and nihonga.

Hardcover21 x 26 cm0.62 kg96 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-6337-6

Edition: English

ISBN 978-3-8365-6339-0

Edition: French
Download product images here

March 16 - July 21, 2024

Made in Japan. Farbholzschnitte von Hiroshige, Kunisada und Hokusai

Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland

Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
• a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
• a concise biography
• approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions



18 Ratings

Hokusai's ideas are more poignant today than ever before

Nessa,October 29, 2021
Japanese culture is one we can all learn from. Hokusai encourages us to accept the flow of life and live close to nature. His story is more poignant these days than ever before and I'm sure if he was alive today he would agree the only way to stop climate change it to respect and love our environment. TASCHEN tells the story of his life and ideas beautifully in this book and I couldn't recommend it more for people who are interested in a bite-size description of the artist's story and ideas.

Hokusai: The Essentials

Matthew G.,October 29, 2021
More than just a pretty picture book, this thing is a users manual for humankind. With each page turned the Viewer/Reader is transported into the mind and visions of an artist who allowed the people of the world to see themselves as the simple creatures they are. Aside from the obvious image of his Tsunami and his startling eroticism, his true mouth watering artistry can be found in his depiction of everyday life. Just like that Tsunami did, this examination of genius will sweep you away too.


Maria,October 29, 2021
A great coffee table book. Good quality and interesting content.


Matthieu,October 28, 2021
Comme toujours, un ouvrage impeccable pour découvrir un artiste et son histoire. Merci à Taschen pour cette collection qui donne un accès facile à la culture ! Ici HOKUSAI et la découverte de son œuvre. Sublime.


Johan,October 27, 2021
Recommend book for lovers of Japanese art