Archive for Katsushika Hokusai

Now Playing #30

Posted in Art, Japanese Print, Music, Now Playing with tags , , on October 18, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


The original published score of Debussy’s La mer featured a well chosen detail from Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Though I don’t know it for a fact it doesn’t seem unlikely that Debussy shared the era’s fascination with Japanese art, and that it informed his musical aesthetic. That he was influenced by Far Eastern music, specifically Javanese gamelan, is well known. That musical impetus eventually returned to the East, where the great Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu was profoundly influenced by Debussy’s work. Takemitsu’s composition for two pianos and orchestra Quotation of Dream deploys quotations from La mer, while  Takemitsu described the work as analogous to the traditional Japanese garden whereby views of the landscape beyond through careful framing are included in the garden’s composition. One can imagine Takemitsu’s work as a microcosmic garden embedded in Debussy’s broader musical landscape, a novel and highly imaginative formal conception in music. If only one could know what Debussy would have made of it…

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Woodblock Print after Hokusai

Posted in Japanese Print with tags on October 9, 2012 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


Oi pouring wine from a cask for Hankai

Two Shunga Prints by Hokusai

Posted in Japanese Print with tags , on October 9, 2012 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Exhausted Lovers

Fukujusô (The Adonis Plant)

Four Still Lifes after Hokusai

Posted in Japanese Print, Still Life with tags on October 8, 2012 by Dylan Thomas Hayden