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Fender’s Artistic Fusion: Hokusai’s Ukiyo-e Adorns New Guitar Collection

Fender is introducing a new guitar collection featuring Hokusai's iconic ukiyo-e art from Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji.
Last updated Jun 17, 2024

Fender has always been synonymous with innovation and artistry in the world of guitars. This time, they’ve taken their craft to a new level by integrating the timeless beauty of Katsushika Hokusai’s ukiyo-e art into their latest collection. To celebrate the first anniversary of their flagship store in Tokyo, Fender Japan has released the Made in Japan Art Canvas Hokusai series of Esquire® guitars. This special model features three masterpieces from Hokusai’s renowned series, Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji, on its body top.

A Tribute to Japanese Heritage

Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji is a series of landscape prints that have captivated art enthusiasts for centuries. Created during the Edo period, these prints depict various perspectives of Mt. Fuji, capturing its majestic presence amidst changing seasons and daily life. Hokusai’s work is celebrated for its intricate details, vibrant colors, and profound sense of tranquility.

Fender’s decision to incorporate Hokusai’s art into their guitars is a tribute to Japan’s rich cultural heritage. It represents a fusion of traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern musical craftsmanship, creating a unique piece of art that is both visually stunning and musically exceptional.

The Art of Ukiyo-e

Ukiyo-e, meaning “pictures of the floating world,” is a genre of Japanese art that flourished from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It features woodblock prints and paintings of landscapes, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, beautiful women, and scenes from history and folklore. Ukiyo-e artists, including Hokusai, sought to capture the transient beauty of life and nature.

Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji is one of the most famous ukiyo-e series. It includes iconic prints like The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which depicts a towering wave about to crash over boats, with Mt. Fuji in the background. This series showcases Hokusai’s mastery of composition, perspective, and his deep reverence for nature.

Fender’s Artistic Collaboration

The Made in Japan Canvas Esquire® Hokusai model is a testament to Fender’s commitment to artistry and innovation. Each guitar in this series features one of three of Hokusai’s masterpieces from the Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji series. The artwork is meticulously applied to the guitar body, creating a seamless blend of traditional Japanese art and modern guitar design.

The three models in the series are:

  1. The Great Wave off Kanagawa: This iconic print depicts a towering wave about to crash over boats, with Mt. Fuji in the background. It is perhaps the most famous of Hokusai’s works and symbolizes the power and beauty of nature.
  2. Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit: This print shows a dramatic view of Mt. Fuji with dark clouds and lightning striking the mountain’s peak. It captures the awe-inspiring force of nature and Hokusai’s ability to depict dynamic scenes.
  3. Tama River in Musashi Province: This serene print portrays a tranquil scene of the Tama River with Mt. Fuji in the distance. It reflects Hokusai’s skill in capturing peaceful landscapes and the harmonious relationship between nature and human life.

These guitars not only offer exceptional sound quality but also serve as canvases for Hokusai’s timeless art. They are perfect combinations for guitar enthusiasts who appreciate both music and visual art. The intricate details of Hokusai’s prints are preserved, allowing players to connect with the rich cultural heritage of Japan every time they pick up their instruments.

The Craftsmanship Behind the Canvas

Fender’s reputation for quality craftsmanship is well-deserved, and the Made in Japan Canvas Esquire® Hokusai models are no exception. These guitars are crafted with the utmost precision and care, ensuring that they not only look stunning but also perform exceptionally well. The body is made from select materials, providing a resonant and balanced tone.

The neck is designed for comfort and playability, allowing musicians to express themselves with ease. The integration of Hokusai’s art into the guitar body is done using advanced techniques to ensure durability and longevity. This attention to detail ensures that the guitar is not only a work of art but also a reliable instrument for any musician.

Fender Flagship Limited Pick Tin Hokusai 351

In addition to the special edition guitars, Fender Japan is also offering a limited edition pick tin for 2,640 yen (tax included). This tin features a design based on Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa and includes 12 original picks. The picks showcase various Japanese paintings by Hokusai, including:

  • Four designs featuring iconic landscapes
  • Four designs depicting dynamic characters from the “Sparrow Dance” in Hokusai Manga
  • Four humorous designs showing characters from old Japan playing Fender instruments

The slide-type tin measures 40mm x 70mm x 13mm, making it perfect for storing picks and other small items.

Fender guitar picks with Hokusai ukiyo-e
Fender guitar picks with ukiyo-e

Celebrating Fender Flagship Tokyo

The release of the Made in Japan Canvas Esquire® Hokusai models coincides with the first anniversary of Fender Flagship Tokyo. This store has become a hub for guitar enthusiasts and musicians in Japan, offering a wide range of Fender products and exclusive models. To commemorate this milestone, Fender wanted to create something truly special that would resonate with their Japanese audience.

Fender Japan Flagship store in Harajuku Tokyo
Fender Japan Flagship store in Harajuku Tokyo

The lottery system for purchasing these limited quantity guitars adds an element of excitement and exclusivity. Fans of Hokusai’s art and Fender guitars have until June 25th to apply for a chance to own these unique pieces. This approach ensures that the guitars go to individuals who truly appreciate the blend of traditional Japanese art and modern musical craftsmanship. Each guitar model costs 198,000 yen, approximately 1255 USD at the time of writing.

Hokusai’s Legacy in Modern Times

Katsushika Hokusai’s influence extends far beyond the world of ukiyo-e. His work has inspired countless artists, both in Japan and around the world. The Great Wave off Kanagawa, in particular, has become an iconic image, symbolizing the power and beauty of nature. Hokusai’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects with such precision and emotion continues to resonate with people today.

By incorporating Hokusai’s art into their guitars, Fender is not only honoring his legacy but also introducing his work to a new generation of art and music enthusiasts. This collaboration serves as a bridge between the past and the present, highlighting the enduring relevance of Hokusai’s art in contemporary culture.

The Future of Art and Music Collaboration

Fender’s Made in Japan Art Canvas Hokusai models are a prime example of how art and music can come together to create something truly extraordinary. This collaboration opens the door for future projects that blend different art forms, offering new and exciting ways for artists and musicians to express themselves.

As the worlds of art and music continue to evolve, collaborations like this one highlight the endless possibilities for creativity and innovation. Whether you’re a musician, an art lover, or both, the Made in Japan Canvas Esquire® Hokusai models are a testament to the power of artistic fusion and the beauty that can emerge when different creative disciplines intersect.

Fender’s Celebration of Japanese Heritage

Fender’s new guitar collection featuring Hokusai’s ukiyo-e art is a celebration of Japanese heritage and artistic innovation. The Made in Japan Canvas Esquire® Hokusai models are not just musical instruments; they are pieces of art that capture the essence of Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji. This collaboration between Fender and Hokusai’s timeless art offers a unique opportunity for musicians and art enthusiasts to own a piece of history.

If you’re passionate about music and art, don’t miss the chance to apply for the lottery and reserve your chance to own these exquisite guitars. Visit Fender Japan’s website for more details and immerse yourself in the world of ukiyo-e and musical craftsmanship.

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interior-staircase-with-plants gallery art wall
The Art of Zen original art prints

At the Art of Zen we have a wide selection of original Japanese art prints in the ukiyo-e and Japandi style. Some of our best selling work is Mount Fuji wall art and Japandi wall art.

Add some zen art to your space with some art from the Art of Zen shop.

All images of Fender products and Fender Japan flagship store and copyright Fender.

Salman A

Salman A

Based in the vibrant city of Dubai, I thrive as a designer and filmmaker with a passion sparked in childhood by the thrilling adventures of UFO Robot Grendizer and Speed Racer. My journey took a deeper dive into the world of art through a profound fascination with Japanese culture, enriched by memorable times spent in Japan. Creativity pulses at the core of who I am. Connect with me for tailor-made design and film projects that bring your visions to life.


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