Black ink drawing of a person looking up and holding onto the moon in the sky, with Japanese writing down the left-hand side of the page.

30 September 2021 – 30 January 2022

Visiting as a Member:
Hokusai
The Great
Picture
Book of
Everything

30 September 2021 – 30 January 2022

Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays 20.30)
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Room 90

Members free

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Discover a collection of rare, rediscovered drawings by Katsushika Hokusai – one of Japan's most celebrated artists, best known for his iconic print, Under the Wave off Kanagawa, popularly called the Great Wave.

In a global first, this exhibition will display 103 recently acquired drawings by Hokusai, produced in the 1820s–1840s for an illustrated encyclopedia called The Great Picture Book of Everything. For reasons unknown, the book was never published, presenting the opportunity to see these exceptional works which would otherwise have been destroyed as part of the wood-block printing process.

Depicting scenes from Buddhist India, ancient China and the natural world, the brush drawings not only showcase Hokusai's inimitable style and skill, but also reveal a version of 19th-century Japan much more intrigued by the wider world than previously thought. 

We hope to continue to facilitate Member entry without bookings for the exhibition. If large numbers of Members are visiting the exhibition at any one time, we may ask you to collect a free timed entry to visit the exhibition at a later time on the same day. You'll also be able to reserve a place on the guaranteed entry list if you wish to visit the exhibition at a specific time and date. See the Visiting Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything section for more information.

To ensure Members have the best experience, we'll be offering a range of Members-exclusive early morning and late night viewings. We'll also continue to offer online events and content for you to explore the exhibition from the comfort of your own home.

We hope to welcome you back soon.

Visiting Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything

Discover Hokusai

As well as offering the unique chance to study Hokusai's masterful brush-work directly, the show shines a light on the last chapter of the artist's career and life, uncovering a restless talent that burned brightly into his final years. In addition to the original brush drawings, the exhibition showcases Hokusai's masterpiece the Great Wave, alongside objects that give further insight into his working practices and demonstrate the intricate process by which his wood-block prints were created.

Contact the Membership office

Email: friends@britishmuseum.org
Phone: +44 (0)20 7323 8195

Opening times 
Monday–Friday: 10.00–16.00
Closed: weekends and bank holidays

Visit the Membership FAQs for the latest information.