One volume explores The Life and Manners of the Day (studying habits and objects of the everyday, from architectural features to wrestling moves and facial expressions); the second The Whole Earth Catalogue (largely concerned with nature, from animals to rock faces and fish); and the third presents the Fanciful, Mythical and Supernatural (with images narrating myths and displaying fantastical creatures).
In 1814, Hokusai's sketches were published in a handbook of over 4,000 images: Hokusai Manga. It surpassed expectations as a student reference book, and became a bestseller. Here, in an elegant, three-volume package, an expansive selection of these works are revealed, presenting all of the themes, motifs and drawing techniques found in his art. The caricatures, satirical drawings, multi-panel illustrations and narrative depictions found in the book can clearly be seen as the basis for manga as it is understood today.