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Hokusai: First Manga Master

Date: 2007 April 02 15:38

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The good folks at Abrams have sent us details of a new book they're publishing about the groundbreaking artist Hokusai. The book contains lots of lovely selection artwork from Hokusai and is a great example of the variety of work he did. The book is well worth £10, for curiosity or academic interests. It hits the shops on 30th April 2007.

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US: $19.95 / Can. $23.95 / UK £9.99
ISBN 13: 978-0-8109-9341-9
ISBN 10: 0-8109-9341-4

Note, that the press release uses the word "mangas", for the plural of manga, this is unusual and generally seen an incorrect as the more accurate sources we use always use the word manga as singular and plural.

Press release as follows:

Hokusai: First Manga Master

First Manga Master

Jocelyn Bouquillard and Christophe Marquet

30 April 2007 £9.99

The Hokusai manga is a series of fifteen volumes (4,000 drawings) published in Japan between 1814 and 1878 is a masterpiece of Japanese illustrated book and a comprehensive visual encyclopaedia of the Japanese civilization in the 19th Century.

The word ‘manga’ is a composed of the two ideograms: man, which means "according to the taste/liking of the author" with an idea of spontaneity and profusion and ga, which means drawing. Loosely translated it means pictorial whims. Mangas, at that time, were a wealth of sketches executed randomly, freely and with no order whatsoever on a variety of subjects. This word was used for the first time for this work by Hokusai. Hokusai’s mangas had an educational aim – his students asked him to make a compilation of sketches for inspiration. These mangas show all the sides of Hokusai’s styles and all the themes he approached: daily life in Japan, Japanese landscape, wildlife, vegetation, the changes of weather, architecture and religious and mythological themes.

Now, for the first time, a small but representative selection of Hokusai’s mangas is presented in HOKUSAI: FIRST MANGA MASTER. About sixty of his most significant and inspirational woodcut prints have been divided into four themes: Landscapes, Animals, The Human World and Mythologies. There is an introduction on Hokusai, his hart and his mangas, while each theme is introduced by a more specific text on the subject. These drawings have never been published before in Western countries and only old Japanese prints exist.

Jocelyn Bouquillard is the curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the Photography and Prints department. He is an expert on Japanese prints and his specialty is landscape prints.

Christophe Marquet is an art historian and specialises in the History of Publishing in Japan. He is a professor at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris.

Source: Abrams Books
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