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Painter Hokusai Katsushika (The Great Wave off Kanagawa) is one of the greatest Japanese artists of all time. From director Hajime Hashimoto comes a sprawling, lush biopic of the man and the myth.
Spread across 3 pivotal periods in the artist’s life, HOKUSAI traces Hokusai’s (Yuya Yagira) life from his time as a struggling artist through to his elder years. In his younger years, we find Hokusai straining to find his footing as an artist. Unwilling to change his style or take criticism, the young artist simply can’t understand why others achieve fame and fortune whilst he remains penniless. However, when he draws the attention of art publisher Juzaburo Tsutaya (Hiroshi Abe) he finds in Tsutaya, someone who will both be his champion and his greatest critic. Together they uncover the great talent hidden just beneath the surface.
Framed by the backdrop of the infamous entertainment ban decreed by the Edo shogunate, the film follows Hokusai as he ages, his fortunes rising and falling with the rule of law. Yet despite the odds, the artist ever strives to create work worthy of the title masterpiece.
Synopsis written by: Anna Page