Drunken Asaina

Katsushika Hokusai Japanese

Not on view

Hokusai's extraordinary achievement in print art has overshadowed his great talent as a painter. In this painting, Asaina Saburō, the legendary hero of Herculean strength, is enshrined in the small domain of the fan, so that his image takes on a more iconic quality. This fan, which was actually used, might have been a New Year's gift from a sake shop called Tsuruya, the name that appears on the box on which the drunken Asaina reclines. If this is the case, Hokusai created a witty, auspicious image for the shop. On the left is the signature Hokusai, which is accompanied by an unclear seal.

Drunken Asaina, Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1760–1849 Tokyo (Edo)), Fan mounted as hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

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