ouihokusai

Hokusai Katsushika is known throughout the world for his masterpieces such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, seen on many a dorm wall, and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. He is the ‘father’ of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, and can be credited with popularizing the Japanese art form in the West during the 1800s.

But it’s possible that the prolific artist had help from one of his daughters, who was also a talented ukiyo-e artist in her own right. Read on for a look at some of her spectacular pieces.

Oui Katsushika was Hokusai’s third daughter, and it’s obvious from her work that she inherited her father’s artistic talent and creativity. She excelled at portraits of beautiful women, and it is likely that she was in charge of ghosting many of her father’s own works and of colouring some of his shunga (erotic prints).

There are only 10 known prints of Oui’s in existence, but even this small body of work shows her skill and her deft touch with light and shadow. It is thought that there could be many more pieces that she worked on with her father, however we may never know exactly which these were.

▼ This picture shows the ‘captivating light’ she was known for. Notice the contrast of the shadows outside and the bright interior behind the lattice.

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▼ The curved figures and the angles of the wrists communicate the liveliness of the performance.

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Oui married a fellow ukiyo-e artist of the late Edo period, but the marriage did not last. It seems she inherited aspects of her father’s personality along with his artistic genius, such as a lack of discretion. She and her husband divorced, apparently due to her pointing out the flaws in his work and laughing at them.

She supported her father during his final years, but eight years after he passed away the then 67-year-old Oui left the house one day and was never seen again.

While she will always be overshadowed by her father’s huge achievements, there is no doubt that she is an artist to be celebrated in her own right.

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Source: DDN Japan