New Year, New Challenges, New Hope, New Love

Hokusai The Great Wave

For the last posting of 2017, I thought I would share a piece that I have found influential. The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849). This print illustrates a massive wave threatening boats off the coast of Kanagawa Japan, with Mount Fuji in the background. Interpretation can be as simple or complex as you want, you choose the adventure. Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretations,” some believe The Great Wave is depicting the force of a tsunami, a rogue wave, or the fishermen’s struggle with the sea. Others have said it is symbolic of the western idea’s and values overtaking Japan while others maintain it is to show how the Japanese can overcome their obstacles and persevere through the dangers of the world. The real question though, is what do you see when you look at?


I see beautiful blue hues and the curls of the wave look monstrous, they resemble fingers grasping at everything before them. In the background, we see, the snow-capped Mount Fuji, regarded as a symbol of national identity for Japan, for its eternal beauty and sacredness. Hokusai distorts this impression and makes the mountain seem insignificant, getting lost in the rolls of the waves. In the foreground, we are presented with a juxtaposition of an alternate representation of Mount Fuji composed in the smaller wave as the foam mimics Fuji’s snow-capped appearance offering a continuity or immortality to the sacred mountain. The Fishermen appear cowering with an implied uncertainty of their future.


I love this and it reminds me that everything around us is in a flux of continuous change. Daily, we are going to face “Waves,” challenges, and difficulties. These can be intimidating, and scary while others may seem impossible to overcome. As the wave crashes, we may end up drenched and tired but I encourage you to be like the fisherman in this print; I don’t see them cowering, I see them poised, refusing to be intimidated by the surge in front of them.


So as 2017 is slowly walking into the light, I wish you happiness and Love. If you find something that inspires you, make it apart of your life today and through 2018. Use everything you can to your advantage, Happy New Year.


“The task is...not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” ~ Erwin Schrödinger