MENAMI Feminine Waves - Ceiling Paintings for the Kan-machi Festival Float

Color on a paulownia board

In 1845, Hokusai returned to Obuse to paint the DOTO Angry Waves and decorate the Kan-machi Festival float.
The designs that frame the pictures were colored by Takai Kozan based on sketches by Hokusai. The float is ornamented with carvings based on an old Chinese tale SUIKODEN in which a warrior pulls out his sword, chants his mantra, sending a dancing dragon to heaven. The carvings are designed and directed by Hokusai. The warrior image was carved by a local craftsman Kamehara Wadashiro, and the dragon was carved by an Edo doll maker Matsugoro.
The two-tier festival float with wheels is 4.84 m tall, 2.4 m wide, and over 3.85 m long. (Nagano's prefectural treasure)
Historically, the Obuse Five-town festival floats have been gathered and paraded through local towns during shrine festivals. And since 1925, they had been displayed only once every ten years at a garden at Obuse's local community hall. These particular floats do not require nails and are usually disassembled for storage. Assembling takes an entire day with several men from all parts of town working on the floats. When they are taken apart, the parts are coated with walnut oil, covered with cotton, and wrapped with oil paper before being stored. Since the establishment of the Hokusai Museum in 1976, Higashi-machi and Kan-machi festival floats have been maintained while on display at the museum site.

*Click image for a further enlargement of this work.