Read the excerpt from "Hokusai's The Great Wave" by Neil MacGregor.
The Japanologist Donald Keene, from Columbia University, sees the wave as a metaphor for the changes in Japanese society:
The Japanese have a word for insular which is literally the mental state of the people living on islands: shimaguni konjo. Shimaguni is 'island nations' konjo is 'character'. The idea is they are surrounded by water and, unlike the British Isles, which were in sight of the continent, are far away. The uniqueness of Japan is often brought up as a great virtue. A new change of interest in the world, breaking down the classical barriers, begins to emerge. I think the interest in waves suggests the allure of going elsewhere, the possibility of finding new treasures outside Japan, and some Japanese at this time secretly wrote accounts of why Japan should have colonies in different parts of the world in order to augment their own riches.
The Great Wave, like the other images in the series, was printed in at least 5,000 impressions, possibly as many as 8,000, and we know that in 1842 the price of a single sheet was officially fixed at 16 mon, the equivalent of a double helping of noodles. This was cheap, popular art; but when printed in such quantities, to exquisite technical standards, it could be highly profitable.
Which line is a direct quotation from an external source?