Hokusai: Roben Waterfall at Oyama in Sagami Province 相州大山ろうべんの瀧
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Title: Roben Waterfall at Oyama in Sagami Province 相州大山ろうべんの瀧 (Soshu Oyama Roben no taki)
Descending from the forested cliff above, Roben waterfall cascades in a smooth arc to the pool below, where pilgrims purify themselves in its icy waters. Hokusai has warmly depicted a group of such pilgrims, the men focused on the process of purifying their bodies by standing under the falls with fortitude before climbing out to dry themselves and reclaim their clothes and packs. Several of the men carry wooden swords as offerings which will presumably be offered at the Aburi Shrine that is further up Mount Oyama. We see traveling hats stacked at right with the seal of the publisher Nishimuraya Yohachi winkingly adorning the topmost one. Men here seem to be resting and conversing in a cottage, cloths hanging to dry nearby--their relaxed mien hints that they might have already visited the temple. The publisher has also snuck in his name “Ei” on the hat hanging on the fence at bottom as well as his trademark on the robe of the man dressing at lower left. This edition has been printed with a spring green rather than a lemon yellow at bottom left and in the cliffs, and the roofs are also a green-brown rather than an orange color. This impression is superior to the British museum example 1906,1220,0.558.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (37.3 x 26 cm)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohei (Eijudô)
Literature: See Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, British Museum (2 examples), Honolulu Academy of Art, Legion of Honor, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai: Il vecchio pazzo per la pittura, 1999, p. 344, no. V48.4. Matthi Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and Drawings, 1991, no. 45
Signature: Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu (From the brush of Iitsu, the former Hokusai)