Cover

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Title page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Illustrations

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pp. ix-xi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

This book deals with the formation of a global icon, but its own formation began so long ago that I am no longer sure exactly what prompted the idea to write it. I may have first considered the possibility when I saw a re-creation of Hokusai’s print, alongside Andy Warhol’s...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

No non-Western artwork has been reproduced so widely or undergone so many reconfigurations in so many parts of the world as Hokusai’s “Under the Wave off Kanagawa,” commonly known as “The Great Wave.” Not only is it instantly recognizable, but familiarity...

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1. “Under the Wave off Kanagawa”

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pp. 17-53

In 1830 the publication of a series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji by the artist Hokusai was announced in the back of a collection of stories by Ryūtei Tanehiko, a writer of popular fiction whose public recognition at the time matched that of his artist friend Hokusai...

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2. International Nationalism

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pp. 54-96

Illustrated books and single sheet prints of Hokusai’s great waves began circulating in Europe and America in the 1860s. The speed with which they were disseminated, reproduced, and reinterpreted speaks to the new modes of transportation, communication, and technology...

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3. America’s Japan

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pp. 97-136

In the opening decade of the twenty-first century, two very different evocations of “The Great Wave” appeared in the United States. Published in 2003 on the 150th anniversary of Perry’s arrival in Japan, a book, The Great Wave: Gilded Age Misfits, Eccentrics, and the Opening...

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4. Lifestyle Branding

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pp. 137-168

Recursivity over a long period of time in strikingly varied contexts has given “The Great Wave” considerable value as global commercial currency. Many other works of art, including Michelangelo’s David, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, and, especially, Van Gogh’s...

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5. Placemaking

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pp. 169-198

Relocations of “The Great Wave” as part of the natural and built environments bring home sociocultural awareness of both the challenges and the opportunities of global change. Their patterns of distribution, in forms that may be loosely characterized as site-specific...

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Epilogue: After the Tsunami

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pp. 199-208

Is critical closure possible in a study that attempts to analyze a global phenomenon that figures so conspicuously in so many contexts and with so many meanings? Given the extraordinary range and ever-expanding scope of its iterations, this study has not sought to be...

Notes

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pp. 209-236

Bibliography

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pp. 237-248

Index

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pp. 249-257