Japan will begin issuing new passports this month featuring the woodblock works of ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
People who apply from Tuesday will receive passports with the iconic “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” as well as other pieces from the series “Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji” printed onto the pages as an anti-forgery measure.
The five-year version will show 16 works from the series, while the 10-year version will contain 24. While the covers will remain unchanged, the new passports will also have more secure IC chips, making it harder for the holder’s personal data to be stolen.
It usually takes about six business days for a passport application to be processed, meaning the first batch will likely reach the public next week.
Hokusai (1760-1849) is renowned for his intricate woodblock prints and ukiyo-e paintings of everything from dramatic landscapes and still-life portraits to depictions of everyday life.
Japan also plans to use “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” on a new ¥1,000 bill it will put into circulation in 2024, on the reverse side of a portrait of industrialist Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931).