This Artist’s “Great Wave Off Kanagawa” Recreation is Made of 50,000 Lego Pieces

published Jan 2, 2021
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It takes a lot of skill and patience to turn a centuries-old classic work of art into a LEGO masterpiece. But that’s just what Jumpei Mitsui did when he recreated Katsushika Hokusai’s famous “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” in 3-D using only LEGO bricks. Even for Mitsui, who is one of 21 LEGO Certified Professionals around the world, it was quite a feat.

“The Great Wave” is a renowned Japanese woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai that depicts a large wave looming over three boats, with Mount Fuji in the background. As you can imagine, creating a sculptural version required a lot of planning and preparation. Before laying a single LEGO brick, Mitsui had to come up with a detailed sketch, which he shared with his Twitter followers:

It took more than 50,000 LEGO pieces to complete Mitsui’s recreation of “The Great Wave.” The finished product measures more than five feet and took 400 hours to complete.

He managed to capture the subtleties of the original print in painstaking detail, all the way from the sea foam on the waves:

To the varying depths of the water surrounding the boats:

And the next time you’re in Osaka, Japan, you can see Mitsui’s LEGO masterpiece in real life at its permanent home at the Hanyu Brick Museum. In the meantime, you can watch him build other amazing LEGO creations on YouTube or follow him on Twitter.