The Great Wave off Kanagawa |Representation of Japanese Aesthetics

The Great Wave off Kanagawa also known as The Great Wave is an ukiyo-e woodblock print by Japanese artist Hokusai. It is Hokusai’s most well-known creation and famous artwork for Western collections. This artwork displays enormous waves carrying boats off Kanagawa and a sight of Mt. Fuji.


The Japanese Aesthetics can be considered as weird. But sometimes weird things are better than the ordinary. Through the Japanese Aesthetics, I learned to appreciate the beauty in everything. The flaws that we think destroys us can be something that makes us into something more beautiful. The everyday life we get bored about is something beautiful in the context of the Japanese Aesthetics. It is surprisingly different but at the same time it’s something worth it.

This work can easily display different Japanese Aesthetics. The waves which are very obvious in the work tells us the message of how tsunamis are highly possible to occur in Japan. It shows how lack of steadiness can become something beautiful. With that, it is safe to say that the picture shows that even with the presence of a wave that is about to bring destruction to the people, there is such a thing as Japanese Aesthetics that in some way considers perishability beautiful. The Mt. Fuji can be considered as an icon for Japan and in some way it is something normal or simply Japanese. Speaking of simplicity, Japanese Aesthetics is also about simplicity and not fancy things which we grew up to believe because of all those Western influences. In Japanese Aesthetics, there’s no need for perfection. Imperfection is beautiful and embracing your flaws makes you beautiful.


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