Hokusai's Mt. Fuji ukiyo-e series fetches over $3.5 mil. at auction

A full set of "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" serial woodblock prints by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai has fetched 3.559 million dollars at an auction in the United States.

The series, which comprises 46 pieces from Japan's Edo period, was auctioned at Christie's in New York on Tuesday.

The buyer has not been identified.

The auction house says an American individual collected the full set, which includes the masterpiece "Kanagawa oki nami ura," or "Under the well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa."

The company says it was for the first time since 2002 that a full set was put up for auction. It says winning bids have trended higher as the popularity of Hokusai's works spreads outside Japan.

Last year, "Kanagawa oki nami ura," fetched 2.76 million dollars at an auction in the US. That was a record for a Hokusai print.

Murakami Takaaki at Christie's said he received many inquiries about the auction from across the globe, and has developed a stronger awareness of Hokusai's popularity.