As far as I know, there are only three more examples of aizuri prints by Hokusai that need to be considered, and then we can try and see whether we can reach a conclusion on our original question: What is the date of the so-called Great Wave? This time we will focus on a group of some seventeen or more prints in the narrow upright tanzaku format, measuring 350 x 68 mm. Like the group of koban prints discussed earlier, in Part II, they were published by Moriya Jihei. With two exceptions, they are signed Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu (two are signed Saki no Hokusai ga), and with three exceptions they are all normal full colour prints, nishikie, three being printed in tones of blue only, the aizurie that we are specifically interested in. Moreover, except five, they can all be found in the collection of the Berlin Museum of East Asian Art, being listed in Steffi Schmidt’s 1971 catalogue as nos. 600-610.
Nagata lists thirteen of them on pp. 215f. of his Hokusai nenpu and incorporated ten in his 2005 Hokusai exhibition in the Tokyo National Museum, as follows: 1 – A tenaga and an ashinaga – aizurie (Achenbach Foundation); 2 – Ebisu catching fish from a boat (Berlin 608; TNM exhibition 271); 3 – A pilgrim standing on the back of another one and writing on a pillar, signed Saki no Hokusai (Berlin 609; TNM 269; British Museum; Pushkin); 4 – Woman rope-walking and juggling balls (Berlin 606; TNM 264); 5 – Two men making a large wooden tub (Berlin 607; TNM 270); 6 – Two men working on the covering of a roof with rooftiles, signed Saki no Hokusai (Berlin 610; TNM 263); 7 – Deer and full moon – aizurie (Berlin 601; TNM 272); 8 – Acrobat performance (Berlin 605; TNM 268); 9 – Monk sweeping maple leaves (Berlin 602; TNM 265; British Museum); 10 – Man seated by a tsuitate and chanting from a book (Berlin 604; TNM 267; Hokusai updated, 2019, 376 Nagata Collection); 11 – Bushishi on a scroll (Berlin 603; TNM 266); 12 – Sparrow by chestnut (Berlin); 13 – Woman washing a length of cloth in a stream (British Museum).
Not listed in Nagata 1985 are four more, such as 14 – Waterfall – aizurie (Berlin 600); 15 – A shōjō eating rice cakes and not drinking (Hokusai updated, 2019, 376 Nagata Collection); 16 – Farmers doing the sparrow-dance (Hokusai updated, 2019, 377 Nagata Collection); and 17 – Shishi in a waterfall (PC). But totalling seventeen, while they were no doubt printed three from an aiban block, means that there must at least be one more still to surface. But we have at least three aizurie: the tenaga and ashinaga (no. 1), the deer and the full autumn moon (no. 7), and the waterfall (no. 14), all of these signed Saki no Hokusai Iitsu.
Summarizing all the aizurie prints we so far could identify, we are considering ten prints from the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, all signed Saki no Hokusai Iitsu and published by Nishimuraya Yohachi; ten koban prints of various subjects from an untitled group, all signed Saki no Hokusai and published by Moriya Jihei; nine envelopes from a series titled One Hundred Views of the Eastern Capital, Tōto hyakkei, signed Hokusai aratame Iitsu and issued by an unidentified publisher; and three prints in the tanzaku format from an untitled group of so far seventeen identified prints, signed Saki no Hokusai Iitsu, and published by Moriya Jihei.
With three different signatures on four groups of prints, I really hope to find the time one of these days to see whether we can come up with a plausible dating for the Great Wave. (And honestly, I only write all of this to just find answers to questions, just checking once again in view of what I know today, but I don’t have the answer to begin with.)