Japan’s Katsushika Hokusai, is perhaps the world’s most famous painter. Believed to have created more than 30,000 works in his lifetime, that are highly valued not only in Japan but also across the rest of the globe.

Believed to have created more than 30,000 works in his lifetime, Katsushika Hokusai is Japan’s most celebrated artist, and arguably one of the world’s most famous. Interestingly, it seems as though Hokusai’s prints gain more attention outside of Japan rather than in, although they are still of high value here.
In 1999, Hokusai was recognised as one of LIFE magazine’s ‘The 100 Most Important Events and People of the Past 1,000 Years’. He was ranked 86th, and was the only Japanese person named on the list.

This year marks 260 years since the birth of Hokusai, and in celebration of the event, Japanese stage performance artist, Katsumi Sakakura was preparing a non-verbal performing arts production depicting the life of Hokusai. The show was intended to travel all over the world, but due to the spread of COVID-19 the production was temporarily abandoned.
But the show must go on, and so, following extensive discussions and planning, ‘The Life of HOKUSAI’ will be filmed without a live audience and released online.

As well as composing, choreographing and directing the production, the leading role of Hokusai falls to Katsumi Sakakura.
Born in Nagoya in 1963, Sakakura captures the movement, rhythm and spirituality of traditional Japanese culture through comprehensive performance art. The artist is known for his fluid synchronization of human movement and projected film and sound, or what he likes to call ‘screen power and human power’. Having performed on stage in more than 41 countries and made television appearances in 21, Sakakura has built up a strong presence in the performing world.

In addition to featuring impressive movements from Sakakura, ‘The Life of HOKUSAI’ will also include performances from the dancer Karin Kato, Biwa instrumentalist Kunsui Kamada, Taiko drummer Taro Kobayashi, pop singer TiA and special guests the Yoshida Brothers.
The film will be directed by Kento Shimizu, who has been praised for his creative approach to planning and directing.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the production of the movie, which Sakakura and the project team hopes will reintroduce and influence Japonisme across the globe once again.
‘The Life of HOKUSAI’ is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2021.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.