Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849
Eight Views of Ryukyu: Bamboo Grove of Sanson
(Ryukyu Hakkei: Sanson chikuri)
signed zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu, with publisher's marks of Eijudo (Nishimura Yohachi) and Kinshindo (Moriya Jihei), and stamped Collection Matsumoto on verso, ca. 1833
oban yoko-e 9 5/8 by 14 5/8 in., 24.5 by 37.1 cm
The Ryukyu Islands, a chain of islands stretching southwest from the Japanese island of Kyushu to approximately 75 miles from the island of Taiwan. The Ryukyu kingdom was semi-autonomous, paying tribute to both the Chinese and Japanese. In 1372 the kingdom became a tributary state of the Ming court, and then in 1609 the daimyo of Satsuma invaded and imposed tributary payments as well. In 1832 an abassador from Ryukyu visited Edo with some 200 Ryukyuans, stimulating new interest in the foreign islands. Hokusai had never visited the remote islands, but he certainly made use of a book on the subject, Ryukyu kokushiryuaku, a Japanese adaption of a Chinese book published by Shuko in 1757. Hokusai's compositions are largely based on illustrations from the book, he even kept the same titles for each of the views.
This relatively scarce series was initially published by Eijudo and later taken over by Moriya Jihei.
Matthi Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and Drawings, 1991, p. 53
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai: Il vecchio pazzo per la pittura, 1999, p. 313, no. V.42.6
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai, 2003, p. 299, no. v.42.6
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
August 10, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...