One of Japan's most eminent woodblock print artists made his home in Obuse.
Obuse's most famous resident was Katsushika Hokusai, the world famous ukiyo-e woodblock print artist. Literally meaning "pictures of the floating world" Hokusai's most enduring work is The Wave which has become a symbol of Japan known throughout the world. However, during his time living in Obuse Hokusai moved on from producing woodblock prints and began working in such diverse media as shoji screen paintings, lacquered coverings for yatai portable shrines, hanging scrolls and picture frames.
Several of Obuse's key attractions are centred around the work of Hokusai. The Hokusai museum collection is devoted to work completed whilst he was living in Obuse (in his 80's until his death in 1849 at the age of 89) and includes screen paintings, the festival floats and many hanging scrolls.
Perhaps the most impressive of Hokusai's works to be found in Obuse is the incredible giant picture of a Chinese Phoenix which adorns the ceiling at Gassho-in Temple was completed in the final year of his life: Lie back on the tatami floor and stare upwards to view the entire painting (and also seek out the hidden illustration!). The temple also has beautiful gardens.
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