Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print “The Waterfall Where Yoshitsune Washed His Horse at Yoshino in Yamato Province” is a vertical ōban art piece from the Edo period (1615-1868). It depicts a famous Japanese legend where the warrior General Minamoto no Yoshitsune washed his steed while hiding from the enemy in the highlands surrounding the waterfall. The print is part of Hokusai’s series “A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces.”
In this artwork, peasants are shown scrubbing their horse beneath the waterfall, which reminds viewers of how the samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune did the same while taking refuge in the mountains. Another notable work by Hokusai depicting a similar theme is “Horse-Wax Waterfall,” created in 1835.
One version of this artwork can be found at Honolulu Museum of Art. The image emphasizes the natural beauty of Japan and showcases its legends and history through stunning visuals.
Art enthusiasts can appreciate how Hokusai successfully merges delicate lines and bold colors to create an eye-catching composition that captures everyone’s attention. This artwork leaves viewers with a sense of tranquility, reminding them to find solace in nature amidst life’s hardships.