The Great Wave off Kanagawa (神奈川沖浪裏 Kanagawa-Oki Nami-Ura?, “Under a Wave off Kanagawa”), also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave, is an ukiyo-e woodblock print by Japanese artist Hokusai, published sometime between 1830 and 1833, in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku sanjūrokkei?). It is Hokusai’s most famous work, and one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world. It depicts an enormous wave threatening boats off the coast of the prefecture of Kanagawa. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is, as the picture’s title notes, more likely to be a large okinami (“wave of the open sea”). As in all the prints in the series, it depicts the area around Mount Fuji under particular conditions, and the mountain itself appears in the background.
Copies of the print are in many Western collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and in Claude Monet’s house in Giverny, France, amongst many other collections. There is also a copy in the Asian Gallery of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.