Hokusai is one of the most famous Japanese artists. “HOKUSAI”, the film depicts his life is on now in Japan. There is a scene he (acted by Min Tanaka) pours blue paint over himself in the rain.

The blue color he mainly used is called “Hokusai Blue”, which you can find in “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”, one of the series “Thirty-six Views of Mt.Fuji”. The color was not originated in Japan but imported from Berlin, Germany. At that time Japanese called it Bero-Ai means the blue came from Berlin. Bero-Ai’s pigment was the same with Prussian blue and new color to Japan at that time. Promoters of the color intended to spread it by Hokusai’s and any other artists’ works. That was the marketing in the Edo era. Please refer to “Indigo Blue”. You will find the history of Japanese blue color including Ai.