For Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, life and art were marked by extraordinary forces of nature. Both his wives and his two children predeceased him. When he was 50, he was struck by lightning — but survived. A year later, he changed his name to Taito, which translates as ‘Star-blessed.’ And in his 70s, he embarked on his celebrated series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, featuring that most awesome of ocean beauties, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Hokusai’s towering breaker, typically known simply as The Great Wave,is nowthe most famous image in Japanese art. It dazzled the Impressionists, inspired Debussy’sLa Mer(The Sea) and Rilke’s Der Berg(The Mountain), and has today become a mass-market icon, not to mention an iOS emoji 🌊