Hokusai

The Amida Falls in the Far Reaches of the Kisokaidō Road

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About the Art

Hokusai's utterly unique representation of water and topography is the most singular masterpiece of the series.

Two men enjoy a picnic on a cliff jutting out over the Amida falls against the backdrop of a deep blue eye as round as the moon.

The falls were named after the circular third-eye of the Amida buddha, which we see in exaggerated form in Hokusai's representation of the point at which the falls emerge. In the heart of the eye, water flows gently towards the lip of the 80m plunge.

Hokusai captures the transition of the water from pool to stream as a serene, gentle flow. We see the water separate into myriad rivulets, akin to the smooth cherry wood-grain from which the printing block would have been made.