In this image, a group of travelers make their way slowly up the slope of Inume Pass in the foreground and in the distance a snow-topped Mount Fuji reigns majestically over the scene. Though Hokusai shows the beauty of the landscape in these works, he also sympathizes with the people and animals who had to navigate it, often journeying hundreds of miles to reach their destination. Here, the bowed heads of the horses at the left suggest the hardships of such travel. The two figures in the upper right who seem close to the peak of the pass look over at Mount Fuji in the distance, perhaps for encouragement. Seeing its perfect form reassuring them they will soon summit and start making their gentle descent down the other side.
Signed Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu.
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print; oban yoko-e.
Late 18th to mid-19th century Japanese color woodblock print of a scene of Immune Pass in Kai Province. The road west from Edo to the city of Kofu crosses several gentle mountain ranges, and for much of the journey Mt. Fuji is visible to the south. Here two traders, with their pack horses loaded down, plod along the gently rising road. The cloud and shadow effects that Hokusai uses are interesting, especially when compared to Takahashi Hiroaki's work (to the far left) that shows Mt. Fuji emerging from similar low-lying clouds. Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji was so popular that he added ten more images, of which this is one.
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