Born in Edo in 1780, Totoya Hokkei worked as a fishmonger prior to becoming an ukiyo-e artist. He studied Japanese painting under Kanō Yōsen’in Korenobu, the head of the Kobikichō branch of the Kanō school of painting. Later he became one of Katsushika Hokusai’s first and best-known students.
Hokkei's work is light and simple, and shows the influence of his master Hokusai. Hokkei was an individualistic and versatile artist who made use of a variety of approaches and worked in styles varying from those reminiscent of early ukiyo-e artist Hishikawa Moronobu to Western-tinged methods and subjects. In this piece, he illustrates an authentic depiction of the sea, including the rocky waves and jagged rocks.