Sunrise at Susaki Point (New Year's Print)Artist(s)Katsushika HokusaiObject Creation Datecirca 1800-1820Medium & Supportcolor woodblock print on paperDimensions
5 1/16 in x 7 3/16 in (12.86 cm x 18.26 cm);14 3/8 in x 19 5/16 in (36.51 cm x 49.05 cm)Credit LineBequest of Margaret Watson ParkerLabel copy
Hokusai is perhaps most famous for his dramatic series of Mt. Fuji, but he also excelled at the genre of surimono. Surimono are small-scaled, deluxe prints on high quality paper, that were privately published by poetry circles and exchanged as New Year’s greetings. Poems by members of the club are inscribed on the prints.
In this charming example, Hokusai has portrayed a woman taking
a momentary break from clam digging to gaze at the sunrise at Susaki. Susaki Point was a popular tourist destination for the denizens of Edo, who journeyed there to watch the sunrise on the first of the year. Instead of boisterous crowds, Hokusai presents a solitary, reflective moment. The delicate linework and subtle details of the drawing are fully in keeping with the quiet mood of the print.
“Four Seasons In Japanese Art”: Special Installation of Japanese Gallery at UMMA: Object Labels
July 5, 2003-January 4, 2004Subject matter
In the final decade of the eighteenth century, there was a severe wave of government censorship against any publications—image or text—that could be construed as political satire or as detrimental to public morals. At first this crackdown had a devastating impact on print publishers and artists, who found themselves in manacles if they attempted to continue their staple products of erotica and pin-up prints of courtesans and actors. They soon rebounded, however, with new formats and new themes. One outlet for artistic genius was the surimono, the privately commissioned print that could avoid the censor’s eye. Usually issued as New Year’s greetings by members of a poetry club or clique, surimono are small in scale and richly decorated with the highest quality pigments, including metallic shades of silver, gold, and copper.
Katsushika Hokusai, who is best known in the West for his landscape prints of Mount Fuji, evokes here a quietly nostalgic scene of a geisha (itinerant musicians) strolling in the countryside. Her right hand rests over her forehead--as if looking into the distance--with a basket in her left hand. The backdrop is the rising sun-the give-away that this is a New Year’s print—seen over distant mountains. A poem lies on the left-hand side of the print.Physical Description
A geisha is shown strolling in the countryside, with her right hand over her forehead--as if looking into the distance--and a basket in her left hand. The backdrop is the rising sun-the give-away that this is a New Year’s print—seen over distant mountains. A poem lies on the left-hand side of the print.Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typecolor printCollection AreaAsianRights
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