Hokusai never gave up and continued painting no matter what. What did he find in the end?Hokusai is a skilled painter, but he can barely make ends meet or even afford to eat. One day, a popular ukiyo-e producer, Tsutaya Juzaburo, discovers him. However, Hokusai, who is unable to capture the essence of painting, cannot gain recognition from Juzaburo. He is even completely beaten down by his rivals, Utamaro and Sharaku, who are ahead of the game. “Why am I painting? What do I want to express?” He struggles, finds himself at the border between life and death, and discovers what makes him who he is in the midst of the splendor of nature. With the support of Juzaburo, Hokusai finally obtains his one and only originality.
One day, fate guided Hokusai to meet Ryutei Tanehiko, an author of gesaku popular fiction. He felt a connection with Tanehiko, a samurai who continues to produce banned popular fiction, and the two become great partners over time. One day after becoming seventy years old, Hokusai collapses with a stroke. His life was saved, but numbness remained in his essential right hand. Even then, Hokusai does not stop, goes traveling, and completes his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. However, the news of Tanehiko’s disposal by the shogunate shocks Hokusai, making him shaken with anger for the death of his friend who had devoted his life to his ideals until the end. Even so, he takes his brush, saying “I will paint because it’s a horrible day,” and continues to paint single-mindedly for the rest of his life. What precious things did he find at the end of his life of constant painting?