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Hokusai

Asakusa Hongan-Ji Temple In The Eastern Capital [Edo]

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About the Art

Asakusa Hongan-ji Temple in the Eastern Capital Edo - by Hokusai

This print is part of Hokusai's landmark woodblock print series: Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji. Here, Hokusai captures a stunning view of Mount Fuji from the elaborately decorated Tsukiji Hongan-ji temple in Tokyo.

We look down from the temple over Old Edo. The elevation is such that most of the city is shrouded in cloud, while the temple rears up out of the mist to rival Mount Fuji and provide some visual symmetry.

A kite escapes from the rows of houses below into clear air.

The temple is a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist temple with a rather unfortunate history, having burned down twice. Established in 1617 in Asakusa, it was lost in a fire 40 years later.

It was then rebuilt and moved to a new location in Edo (Tokyo). Hokusai immortalized it in this print, but it would be destroyed again in 1923 by the Great Kanto eartquake and require a third incarnation.

The replacement temple has stood in Tokyo since 1934.

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