Katsushika Hokusai, was an eighteenth-century Japanese painter, draftsman, and printmaker, a specialist in ukiyo-e, as well as an author of popular writings, best known as Hokusai, or his nickname Gakyōjin, literally "Old Crazy Drawing Man."
During his seventy-year career, he produced a considerable body of work of some 3,000 color prints, illustrations for over 200 books, hundreds of drawings, and over 1,000 paintings. He quickly abandoned the narrow subject matter traditionally associated with the "floating world" (ukiyo-e) school of which he was a part, such as images of popular actors and courtesans.
The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1831 - 1833), actually 46 prints, including The Great Wave of Kanagawa (1831), are his best known works.
His work influenced many European artists, in particular Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, and more broadly the artistic movement called Japonism.