A set of five woodblock prints owned by a museum in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, has been confirmed as an authentic work by famed ''ukiyoe'' artist Katsushika Hokusai, the museum said Monday.
Fake copies of the set have been circulating in large quantities since the Meiji era, with only a few originals by Hokusai confirmed. With the latest discovery, the Japan Ukiyoe Museum became the only institution to possess originals for all five works in the set.
The five works, all of which are 26-by-19 centimeters in size, are based on ghost stories, and are believed to have been created at around the same time as Hokusai painted his masterpiece, ''Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji,'' between 1832 and 1833.
Their authenticity was examined by several experts, including Satoru Sato, professor at Jissen Women's Educational Institute, and Matthi Forrer, researcher at Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, the Netherlands, according to the ukiyoe museum.
The experts highly praised the techniques adopted in creating the five works and their print technology.
The works are on display at the museum through May 31.