!!

Guests can now post!

Welcome to Intelligent Answers.  As a guest, you are now able to post a question, subject to getting through our spam-bot filters.  However, if you want to answer any questions, you will need to register.  Thanks for visting!  (BTW - guests cannot post links, and if you post spam, we will block your IP and report you to every spam protection site we can find - we work hard to keep this site spam free for the benefit and enjoyment of our members!)

Author Topic: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?  (Read 3321 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

  • Awaiting inspiration.
  • PK unique
  • University Councillor
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 54
  • -Receive: 164
  • Posts: 12311
  • Helpfulness: 214
  • January 2011 prize-quiz winner.
Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« on: 05 September, 2013, 07:50:29 AM »
I've been collecting Japanese prints since the early 1970s (mainly Kuniyoshi and Kunisada) and always been frustrated that the inscriptions (which are often the key to the image or could add an extra dimension) have always just been meaningless squiggles to me.

Never mind. Images such as this one repay repeated starings-at...the image; the astounding technique; the concept; the power in such a small (little over A4) sized print; the artist himself (the great Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849) are all different going-in points that lead to sheer wonder at Hokusai's ability which was nearing its peak when he cut this print when he was well over seventy (a very advanced age at the time in Japan. He lived to be 89 I believe).

Click to enlarge image.

So, I turn to the world's most consummate diggers and delvers and ask you to solve the riddle that has been bugging me for decades...what does that blasted inscription in the top left hand corner actually say?
« Last Edit: 05 September, 2013, 08:17:20 AM by P-Kasso2 »
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

  • Perpendicular Galileo Galilei
  • Founder
  • Marie Curie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 92
  • -Receive: 133
  • Posts: 2016
  • Helpfulness: 168
  • "We're all bankers now!"
    • Antonymous2011 Flickr Page
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #1 on: 05 September, 2013, 08:15:23 AM »
Signature[edit source | editbeta]


Hokusai's signature.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa has two inscriptions. The first, the title of the series, is written on the upper-left side inside a rectangular box, where it's written: "冨嶽三十六景/神奈川冲/浪裏" Fugaku Sanjūrokkei / Kanagawa oki / nami ura, which translates to "Thirty six views of Mount Fuji / offshore from Kanagawa / Beneath the wave". The second inscription, on the left of the box, is the artist's signature: 北斎改爲一筆 Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu, ("From the brush of Hokusai, who changed his name to Iitsu").[26]
Hokusai, given his humble beginning, didn't have a last name, and his first pen-name, Katsushika, referred to the region he came from. Over his career, he used more than 30 different names, never beginning a new cycle of works without changing it, letting his students use the previous name.
In his work Thirty Six views from Mount Fuji he used four distinct signatures, changing signature according to the phase of the work: Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu, zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu, Hokusai Iitsu hitsu and zen saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.[27]

Wiki
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Offline P-Kasso2

  • Awaiting inspiration.
  • PK unique
  • University Councillor
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 54
  • -Receive: 164
  • Posts: 12311
  • Helpfulness: 214
  • January 2011 prize-quiz winner.
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #2 on: 05 September, 2013, 08:43:53 AM »
What a let down, Ant! Is that all it says? I'd expected something poetic, mysterious, deep.

It's always the same...when you hear people on a bus or a train talking in a language you don't speak, you always think they're talking about something fascinating and profound.

It happened to me when I first moved to Norway but then, the first memorable time when I could eavesdrop in Norwegian on a tram, it turned out they were indeed talking about really earth-shattering stuff about how their Aunt Siri was having terrible trouble with her new dentures!

Same here with this inscription...boring! I suppose Hokusai was a straightforward geezer who let his visuals do all the talking. Interesting article on Wiki you plundered, Ant...links on nicely to other digging. Thanks.
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

  • Perpendicular Galileo Galilei
  • Founder
  • Marie Curie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 92
  • -Receive: 133
  • Posts: 2016
  • Helpfulness: 168
  • "We're all bankers now!"
    • Antonymous2011 Flickr Page
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #3 on: 05 September, 2013, 08:48:33 AM »
Try this one I made earlier P-K. Inspired by the great Japanese artists.
                                                                                         
« Last Edit: 05 September, 2013, 08:57:54 AM by antonymous »
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Offline P-Kasso2

  • Awaiting inspiration.
  • PK unique
  • University Councillor
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 54
  • -Receive: 164
  • Posts: 12311
  • Helpfulness: 214
  • January 2011 prize-quiz winner.
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #4 on: 05 September, 2013, 10:57:51 AM »
Beautiful...and your skill with the calligraphy brush is truly superb. By the way, what does that caption say?
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

  • Perpendicular Galileo Galilei
  • Founder
  • Marie Curie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 92
  • -Receive: 133
  • Posts: 2016
  • Helpfulness: 168
  • "We're all bankers now!"
    • Antonymous2011 Flickr Page
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #5 on: 05 September, 2013, 12:06:25 PM »
Its a haiga which is a combination of a haiku and a picture.
The haiku I composed for my picture and translated is;

                                                                 Mountain Ash in fall

                                           Bears its rich summer fruit

                                            Rocks remain timeless
« Last Edit: 05 September, 2013, 12:09:33 PM by antonymous »
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Offline P-Kasso2

  • Awaiting inspiration.
  • PK unique
  • University Councillor
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 54
  • -Receive: 164
  • Posts: 12311
  • Helpfulness: 214
  • January 2011 prize-quiz winner.
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #6 on: 05 September, 2013, 02:00:03 PM »
美しい絵 ! 美しい言葉 !
"I live in hope"

Offline antonymous

  • Perpendicular Galileo Galilei
  • Founder
  • Marie Curie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 92
  • -Receive: 133
  • Posts: 2016
  • Helpfulness: 168
  • "We're all bankers now!"
    • Antonymous2011 Flickr Page
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #7 on: 05 September, 2013, 04:31:22 PM »
美しい絵 ! 美しい言葉 !

ありがとうございます。 あなたは明らかに芸術的な味を持った男です。
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"

Offline P-Kasso2

  • Awaiting inspiration.
  • PK unique
  • University Councillor
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 54
  • -Receive: 164
  • Posts: 12311
  • Helpfulness: 214
  • January 2011 prize-quiz winner.
Re: Famous image...but what does the inscription say?
« Reply #8 on: 05 September, 2013, 08:05:08 PM »
Praise where praise is due!
"I live in hope"