Hanga Treasure Chest: Print #11

Here we are, breaking my rule about no 'duplications' in this series - a second design by Katsushika Hokusai! This is from his masterwork Fugaku Hyakkei (100 Images of Mt. Fuji), the third volume, published in 1849. And no, I haven't been lazy and made a one-colour print for you - there are four 'colours' on this one!

No sooner had I come up with the concept for this Treasure Chest print series, than I realized that the prints just had to line up with the seasons. I never intended that each and every one should exhibit a seasonal feature - this isn't a haiku series! - but certainly as the series progressed, the passage of the year would be marked in the images.

Here in Japan the most well-established method of indicating season of course involves plants and flowers, but that's not the only way. This print, for example, doesn't have a lot of greenery (!), but don't you think you can tell what season is depicted?

It occurs to me though, as I prepare this print and story for sending out to the collectors, that I might be being a bit self-centered here; this print is timed to appear in your mailbox on the 20th of June, and by then the rainy season will be well under way ... here in Ome where I live! But what about collectors in other parts of Japan? And those living in other countries?

Well, at this point I have to admit that there is nothing I can do about this problem; now that I have collectors situated in many countries around the world, it is just not possible to make a print series that will fit everybody's local situation ... in real time.

But each of you will own this Treasure Chest for many years, and once you have the full set of 24 prints on hand, just how you look at them - and on what kind of schedule you display them - will be completely up to you. If your rainy season falls in mid-winter, as it does for those of you in Western Canada for example, then that will be the time to bring out this print!

(But here in Tokyo I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks from now, when I can put this one away!)


Monday, June 20, 2005