Katsushika Hokusai
Ejiri in Sunshū (Suruga Province

Signed: Zen Hokusai I’itsu hitsu; ōban, yoko-e, 25.0 x 37.0 cm; nishiki-e with ichimonji-bokashi

From “36 Views of Mount Fuji”. On a levee between rice fields, farmers and travellers are fighting against a raging storm. The first edition of this print, which is rarely found today, was printed entirely in blue(aizuri-e). In this edition only the lines of the contour block are blue. The other three colours used are typical of the 1830s and early 1840s and thereby provide evidence of the great popularity of the Fuji cycle during Hokusai’s lifetime.

John Meller(Sotheby’s, London, July 1963)
Riese Collection #123

This lovely design which owes so much to the page of floating papers in the Manga, is rarely found in a fine early impression. The earliest impressions are printed entirely in blue and bear the mark of the publisher, Hoeidō, and the censorship seal. In this impression the keyblock, what is left of it, is printed in blue, but the rest of the print is printed in reddish-brown, two shades of green and black. Impressions like this testify to the popularity of Hokusai’s set in his own lifetime. The colours used for this impression, late as it is, are typical of the 1830s or early 1840s, before the reforms of the Tempo period, and are totally unlike the colours used for the reprinting, for example, of certain prints in the bridges series in the 1850s.

Reproduced in: Ingelheim catalogue, no. 106.