#1 Under the Wave off Kanagawa

#1 Under the Wave off Kanagawa
Item# view-one-kanagawaoki-namiura

Woodblock Prints Title: Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa-oki nami-ura)

Publication: 1831

Size: Horizontal ˘ban; 25.8 x 38 cm (10 3/16 x 14 15/16 in.)

Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijud˘)

Signature: Hokusai Aratame Hitsu ("From the brush of Hokusai, who changed his name to Hitsu")

Notes: This print is the most iconic print from Hokusai.

Original: 1st state. known as the Blue Outline. 3 originals from different sources. Around 1,000 copies originally printed; Less than 130 known copies are left.

This print has had multiple printing, with an evolution among the block used for various reasons. Here is the actual printing chronological order and how to differentiate these sub printing states :

1/ The earliest known condition, with strong unbroken lines in the title cartouche and throughout the key block (Please note that in this example, the yellow, pink and gray colors are partially faded from light exposure) :

2/ Sooner after that, probably because the sky was too white, resulting in lack of visibility of sea spray, an additional layer of gray was added in the sky, as seen in the two examples below:

3/ As the key block was wearing down, you will notice a large "hole" on the left side of the title cartouche, this might be one of the latest printing before some "changes occured" :

4/ The sky blue color block is renewed. An easy way to spot the difference is in "the z pattern"" visible on the right side of the print instead of "the round pattern", as seen below. Also, the "Black sunset" surrounding the mount Fuji is gone, and the gray sky is more an oval shape gray between the wave and the right side of Mt fuji, as seen below (Scroll to image 2 to see highlighted differences):

5/ This is probably the latest sub state of the blue outline. You will notice the broken key block lines in the title cartouche, on the mount Fuji, or in the upper right wave line, the "Z shaped" sky blue block, but more importantly, a new yellow block where the left boat is left colorless, and the central boat's lower front is also lacking color as seen below (Scroll to image 2 for highlighted differences): Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1

2nd state. known as the Black Outline. It differs from the Blue outline, as the main key block uses black ink instead of blue ink. The difference is obvious when looking at the lines around the title :

Later edition of the black outline comes with a new brown colored block replacing the yellow color in the boats and highlighting the cloud, as seen below: Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1a

Other Versions:

1/Unidentified Replica 1890's (Printing company has been identified, but name not confirmed yet)

Images 1 & 2 are the replica, image 3 is the original for comparison. 1/ Blue Section more "bumpy"
2/ Water Drops are significantly different
3/ Hook of the wave is unfinished
4/ 2 Extra Water Drops

This print is most likely the best replica ever made of this print. All the water drops are matching the position of the original, and most of the lines are correct to a point where you need a magnifier to review the exact shape of the water drops for comparison. Paper is definitely Edo era. Although not original, definitely designed to fool.

Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1b

2/ Enji Takamizawa Replica 1910's

Images 1 & 2 are the replica, image 3 is the original for comparison.

1/ only 1 layer of dark blue and 2 of blue sky. Also missing Water Drops in the dark blue
2/ Water Drops are smaller than the original.
3/ Bigger Blue dark stain than in the original

The paper is thin like an edo era print, but the paper is different from the original. Later editions of this replica has a thicker paper. Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1c

3/ Unidentified Replica 1920's (Most Likely Adachi)

Images 1 & 2 are the replica, image 3 is the original for comparison. 1/ Very strong clouds design. Most originals are faded
2/ Wave design not even close to the original
3/ tiny strip of dark blue between 2 layers of sky blue
4/ Big Water Drop missing

Paper is thicker, like a Shin Hanga. Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1d

4/ Wanatabe Shazoburo's Replica 1930's

Images 1 & 2 are the replica, image 3 is the original for comparison. 1/ Wanatabe Seal
2/ Blue are touching each other in Wanatabe's, while the original are separated
3/ Dark blue section is touching the white section while the original has some blue sky in between

Paper is thicker, like a Shin Hanga. Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1e

5/ Unidentified Replica 1910's

Images 1 & 2 are the replica, image 3 is the original for comparison. 1/ Inaccuracies in the key block
2/ This section should be key block colored (Prussian blue)
Estimated Value: Ref # 36V1e