Hokusai's Great Wave reproductions

The most common reproductions. All are handmade woodblock prints on handmade Japanese paper.

Original thumbnail
Original** ca. 1831
Early reproduction thumbnail
Early reproduction ca. 1830s
Adachi (oban) thumbnail
Adachi (oban) ca. 2018
Adachi (koban) thumbnail
Adachi (koban) ca. 2018
Mokuhankan thumbnail
Mokuhankan ca. 2018
Unsodo thumbnail
Unsodo ca. 2018
Watanabe thumbnail
Watanabe ca. 2018

** Impressions from the oldest documented prints very seldom match and therefore it's entirely possible no original print survives in a collection i.e. they are all reproductions. It is possible that the original publisher ordered other block sets to meet demand thus leading to reproductions very soon after the original. An alternative possibilty is that a rival publisher produced masterly forgeries intended to be passed off as original and these are infact the early reproductions. The print most likely to be an original is British Museum 2008,3008.1.JA due to additional carving detail in boats and waves which is consistent of a carver working directly from Hokusai's brushwork.

Rather interestingly professional printmaker David Bull came to a similar conclusion in his video series on the Great Wave.