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Katsushika Hokusai was born in 1760 in the Katsushika district of Edo (Tokyo) with the given name of Tokitaro. He started an apprenticeship at a woodblock workshop at the age of 15. At the age of 18 he joined the painting and printmaking school of Katsukawa Shunsho and took the name Katsukawa Shunro. The early Hokusai art prints were actor ukiyo-e created under the influence of his teacher Shunsho.
Hokusai must be imagined as a person who was completely obsessed by producing ukiyo-e (Japanese prints). He usually got up early in the morning and worked until after sunset. The art name Gakyo-rojin, which he used from 1834-1849 means “old man mad with painting”.
Hokusai was one of the most prolific of all ukiyo-e artists. At the end of his life he had produced more than 30,000 print designs.