Chapter 3. Hokusai and Horoshige

Katsushika rode a dragon

Katsushika knew he had to be careful. To paint a dragon, he had to respect it. When you ride a dragon, you don’t tell it when to fly.

Katsushika penetrated secret meanings

After much work, having made thousands of drawings, Katsushika understood the structure of birds, insects, and fishes, and the life of plants. At ninety he hoped to further penetrate their secret meanings.

Andō refined each scene

Andō walked three hundred miles along the Eastern Sea Road from Tokyo to Kyōto and back and sketched fifty-three stations. Repeating each like mantras with lines, shapes, and colors, Andō refined each scene until it reached enlightenment.

Mount Fuji rose above Andō’s frame

This Mount Fuji is a goddess who purifies pilgrims who believe. Down her slopes, across fields, two cranes and two women were concerned about their own lives and where they were going.

Andō saw lines at Kanagawa-juku

A horizon, a cloud that zigged across the sky, a large dark tree, rough and wooded cliffs reaching over the sea, a line of large boats under sail, a line of small fishing boats, a row of buildings, homes and shops, their rooflines, door posts, signs, a line of travelers being pulled into shops along the steep road whose rise meets a line below the sunset and is unlikely to signify an end.