This picture is detail from Hokusai Manga Vol. 10, published in 1819.
Hokusai’s original Dharma drawing
Detail from a drawing by Hokusai’s apprentice Tsuyuki Ksho, aka Iitsu III, entitled “Sketch of the House of Hokusai,” and depicting O-Ei with a pipe (left) and old Hokusai (right), made around 1842 or 1843. It is the only existing document depicting Hokusai’s living place (or at least on of the 93 he moved in and out throughout his life). The writing on the sketch explains how Manji (the name Hokusai had been using since 1834) remained inside the Kotatsu (a sort of heater covered by a blanked as depicted in the sketch) from late September until early April, never to come out even if he received visits. He would just paint, sleep when tired, and then start to paint again as he woke up, hardly changing his clothes, that were covered in lice.
Courtesans showing themselves to the strollers through the Grille (simply entitled through the Grille of Yoshiwara in Japanese) is certainly one of the most distinctive works by Katsushika Oi, and perhaps among the most artistically unique paintings of her time. No official signature appears, but the Chinese characters for Ei, O, and I can be partially seen on the three lanterns.
Portrait of Hokusai appearing in the famous 1893 biography written by Kyoshin Iijima, and later in De Goncourt’s in 1896. It’s authenticity is debated.