- Museum number
Object: Shojin tozan 諸人登山 (Groups of Mountain Climbers)
Series: Fugaku sanjurokkei 冨嶽三十六景 (Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji)
Colour woodblock oban print. Final design of series. Pilgrims in white jackets making way to cave on Mt Fuji at sunrise: some bracing themselves with wooden staffs as clambering over rocks; others pausing to rest and huddling together in cave. 1 of 2 impressions. Inscribed, signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 25.80 centimetres
Width: 37.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Pilgrims in white jackets brace themselves with wooden staffs as they clamber unsteadily over the rocks, others pause to rest, and all will finally make their way to the cave where they huddle together as undifferentiated humanity, waiting for the sunrise that is already augured by a faint pink in the sky. This may be the very cave, Eboshi-iwa, where Jikigyo Miroku fasted himself to death on the 17th day of the seventh month, 1733, thereby founding the 'Fuji cult' ('Fuji shinko') based on his teachings of equality of the classes, equality of the sexes and the unity of man with Mt Fuji, rice and the deity Sengen Daibosatsu (see also p. 17; Kano 1994, pp. 23- 36, 110-11). Leaving all vegetation behind, the pilgrims are vulnerable against the bare volcanic rock that is drawn pitted and cragged. A grey block skilfully wiped in three bands and printed over the variegated pink and orange of the rock suggests gloomy clefts and hollows, where bubbling clouds rise. Surely there can be no doubt that this was the final design to complete the series already extended by an additional ten designs: for once this is not a view of distant, objectified Fuji but an evocation of the subjective, awesome experience of being on it.
Another, later impression also in the British Museum collection (1906.12-20.052 7), with ill-registered colour blocks, has a substantially different configuration of the grey shading and lacks the red seals of the censor and publisher beneath the signature.
'Ukiyo-e taikei, vol. 13: Fugaku sanju-rokkei', Tokyo, Shueisha, 1975 (text by Kobayashi Tadashi), no. 46.
'Meihin soroimono ukiyo-e, vol. 8: Hokusai I', Tokyo, Gyosei, 1991 (text by Nagata Seiji), no. 34.
Julia White, 'et al.', 'Hokusai and Hiroshige: Great Japanese Prints from the James A. Michener Collection, Honolulu Academy of Arts', Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1998 (commentaries by Yoko Woodson), no. 51.
Male pilgrims with matching white robes, travelling hats and poles clamber over rocks and climb a ladder towards a cave where others are already huddled at rest. A pink glow in the sky suggests they are about to make their final ascent to greet the sunrise from the peak. The cave may evoke Eboshi-iwa, where the charismatic preacher Jikigyō Miroku fasted himself to death in 1733, leading to a rapid expansion of the ‘Fuji cult’ (Fuji-kō) among his followers. This is the only design showing the experience of being on Mt Fuji, and perhaps it was intended to complete the series.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001, 11 May-29 Jul, BM Japanese Galleries, '100 Views of Mount Fuji'
2017 25 May - 13 Aug, London, BM, G35, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave
2017 6 Oct - 19 Nov, Osaka, Abeno Harukas Art Museum
2022 16 Apr-12 Jun, Tokyo, Suntory Museum of Art, Hokusai from the British Museum
- Acquisition date
- Registration number