John-Paul Stonard “Hokusai: the Great Wave that swept the world” https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/may/19/hokusai-japanese-artist-late-blossoming-great-wave-mount-fuji
If the manga made Hokusai’s name, the Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (there are in fact 46 prints in the series) ensured his fame. Hokusai’s obsession with Mount Fuji was part of his hankering after artistic immortality – in Buddhist and Daoist tradition, Fuji was thought to hold the secret of immortality, as one popular interpretation of its names suggests: “Fu-shi” (“not death”). I saw the mountain for the first time last year, from the window of the Shinkansen bullet train. You quickly understand how it dominates the landscape, as the train curves around, revealing it over woodlands and cities, behind buildings, over the plains – and why Hokusai returned to it so often, like a pivot for his restless imagination.
In his 80s, Hokusai was said to draw a Chinese lion or lion dancer every morning, throwing it out of the window to ward off ill luck. A number of these “daily exorcism” drawings still exist (probably thanks to Ōi*2running out to collect them up), and they are among his most lively and charming works. Hokusai’s only bad luck was to die 10 years short of his century, and never in his own mind to reach the state of artistic immortality, which he estimated would occur at the age of 110 when, as he once wrote, “Each dot, each line, will possess a life of its own.”
Mark Brown “Katsushika Hokusai's later life to feature in British Museum show” https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/jan/10/katsushika-hokusais-later-life-to-feature-in-british-museum-show
Jonathan Jones*3 “Europe thought it had a monopoly on artistic genius. Hokusai proved it wrong” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/11/europe-monopoly-artistic-genius-hokusai-japanese-prints-drawings
*2:娘の葛飾応為。 お栄。See eg. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%91%9B%E9%A3%BE%E5%BF%9C%E7%82%BA 『百日紅』の主人公。
*3:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100606/1275839941 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100702/1278043288 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120122/1327199681 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120625/1340552169 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130710/1373467332 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130710/1373467332 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141026/1414337023 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160324/1458832140 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160416/1460824925 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160511/1462894474 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160702/1467479634 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160802/1470151596