Adolph Hitler used the term “Lebensraum” to describe his intention to expand his territory as the ruler of Germany and beyond. “Lebensraum in oils” portrayed the image he painted as an artist. In fact, Hitler painted over 2,000 pictures way before even the First World War. Describing himself as a misunderstood artist, he believed that oil was the major reason why the Germany expansionism was necessary, as it would give them power to manage and control the world as the sole superpower (Schwab 121). Hitler assaulted Europe and was intending to expand his territory beyond Europe, up to Central Africa. The intention was to get enough source of oil energy to help build Germany as the sole superpower and center of every activity. “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is one of the famous artwork done by Hokusai (Rilke 3). Hokusai was Japanese, whose series of artwork predicted some political storm through imagery. “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” was a woodblock print artwork, where the artist depicted a huge amount of wave sweeping boats and sea vessels away at Kanagawa, Japan (Rilke 4). The Wave seems to be bigger than even Mount Fuji, considered to be the center of every attention in history. In essence the two works have some sort of similarity in terms of the messages and predictions. This paper analyzes the two works, with a view to compare and contrasts their present and present interpretations, and finally, their similarity.
Hitler’s work portrayed his imagination of Germany full of resources, albeit from other parts of the world and that Germany should never be equal among others (Sheen 22). Generally, there is a common belief among social scientists and historians that the major cause of wars or group conflicts must be related in away to economic reasons. While many of his time of rule evolved around the philosophy of a pure race (Overy 272), the “Lebensraum in oils” is a clear indication of a different approach to war other than pure race coupled with religious belief of purity. The economic interest is shown everywhere in the world, with many nations and leaders putting it as a priority in their daily venture. The Hitler’s work is of secular interest as there is no religious connection to the “Lebensraum in oils”.
In the contrary, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is an art of painting with the help of polychrome ink and color on paper. While the artist may have imagined the possibility of a mountain view connected to the big wave of Kanagawa, the whole picture portrays a situation where there is a possibility of bigger becoming smaller-less powerful nations becoming more powerful and vice versa. It revealed the artist’s different aspects of life, through imagination and social aspect. The whole concept is more of a prediction of war, with the then small nations becoming bigger and the then bigger nations tumbling down as shown with the MountFiji and the Wave overshadowing it.
The two artworks are similar in the use of imagery to express the imagination of what is likely to happen. While Hitler’s work is more of economic prosperity through conquering the rich nations full of oil and other economic resources, Hokusai’s work is more of triumph of the small nations over the then big nations (Rilke 6). Probably the interconnection is in the belief that the exploitation of resources of small nations will not exist as long as they (less powerful nations) come together and unite as figuratively expresses by the waves. Within the waves are boats presumably used to exploit the sea resources being swept through the sea? On the other hand, resources, Hitler’s oil next to oils as shown in the picture is calm and can be exploited.