About the Works

Six Tama Rivers

Katsushika Hokusai

  • 「Six Tama Rivers」 Katsushika Hokusai
  • 「Six Tama Rivers」 Katsushika Hokusai

Facsimiles of works in the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. : Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1904.204-205.

These images are based on the high resolution facsimile produced by the Tsuzuri Project. Unauthorized copying, duplication, or transfer of these images is strictly prohibited.

Katsushika Hokusai
Historical era:
Edo (19th century)
printed, sprinkled gold on washi paper
pair of six-fold screens
High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
Each panel H131.9 × W47.8 cm
Sumida Ward
The Sumida Hokusai MuseumMAP
Current owner:
The Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution
ink, color, and sprinkled gold on paper

From the signature and seal he put on the painting of a lumberjack depicted, we know that Hokusai painted this work at the age of 74. Of all the works collected by Honma Kozo, a member of wealthy merchant family in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, that Charles Lang Freer obtained via the Japanese fine art dealer Kobayashi Bunshichi, this was the work that attracted Freer most, and he praised it as “a genuine masterpiece.” Referring to what are called the Six Tamagawa Rivers, Six Tama Rivers is a generic name for the six rivers named “Tama” mentioned in ancient poems (in Kyoto, Osaka, Wakayama, Shiga, Tokyo, and Miyagi). The original that we have today presents six picture panels of scenery in one row, while the other row depicts six themes including waka poets. However, it is known that the original version consisted of six sets, each composed of one picture showing a person and another showing scenery, and that each set depicted one of the Six Tama Rivers. In producing the reproductions that you see here, we reproduced the original arrangement.

About the Works