Chapter 8: Shrines, Statues and Scrolls : Chapter 8: Shrines, Statues and Scrolls The Art of Early Japan By Elaine Nguyen, Ann Le, Tanya Lai The Art of Early Japan : The Art of Early Japan The Japanese islands consists of four main islands:
Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.
Japanese culture reveals a responsiveness to imported ideas such as Buddhism and Chinese writing systems.
Japan’s close proximity to the continent has promoted broad exchange with mainland cultures, while the sea has protected it from invasions and helped it to be unique. Japan Before Buddhism : Japan Before Buddhism Jomon Period (10,500-300 BCE): One of Japan’s earliest distinct culture, Jomon, meaning “cord markings”, refers to the technique that this culture used to decorate earthenware vessels.
Prefecture: A district without a governor. Vessel, from Miyanomae, Nagano PrefectureL: Tokyo National Museum D: 2500-1500 BCE, Middle Jomon Period : Vessel, from Miyanomae, Nagano PrefectureL: Tokyo National Museum D: 2500-1500 BCE, Middle Jomon Period Slide 7: Has a characteristic, intricately modeled surface.
Thick and heavy. Slide 8: Yayoi (300 BCE-300 CE)
Produced pottery that was less sculptural and sometimes polychrome
Developed bronze casting and loom weaving
Kofon (330-552CE) Slide 9: Dotaku (bell) with incised figural motifs, Kagawa Prefecture
L: Tokyo National Museum
D: 100-300 CE, Late Yayoi Period Slide 11: The ornament consists of simple line drawings of people and animals.
Scholars have reached no conclusion on the meaning of these images.
The Dotaku engravings are the earliest surviving examples of pictorial art in Japan. Slide 12: Tomb of Emperor Nintoku, Sakai, Osaka Prefecture
D: Kofun Period, Late 4th-Early 5th century Slide 14: Known as largest tumulus (pit graves covered by sometimes enormous mounds).
Central mound, which takes the keyhole form.
1,600 feet long and rises to a height of 90 feet. It covers 458 acres.
Objects were placed with the coffin to assist in the transition to the next life. Slide 15: Haniwa (cylindrical) warrior figure, from Gunma Prefecture
L: Aikawa Archaeological Museum, Aikawa
D: Late Kofun Period Slide 17: Used at burial practices at Japanese tumuli around the pit grave mounds.
Made of low-fired clay.
Artists altered the shapes of the cylinders, decorated them with applied ornaments, and then painted the Haniwa.
Represented as a spiritual barrier protecting both the living and the dead from contamination. Slide 18: Main hall, Ise shrine, Mie Prefecture.
D: Kofun Period or later, Rebuilt in 1993 Slide 20: Shrine of the sun goddess, Amaterasu.
Known to be as Shinto
Made of wood, fitted together in a mortise-and-tenon system, in which the wallboards were slipped into slots in the pillars.
Two posts support the ridgepole, the beam at the crest of the roof.
Golden cypress columns and planks contrast in color and texture with the white gravel covering the sacred grounds.
This shrine highlights the connection to Shinto, between nature and spirit. Buddhist Japan : Buddhist Japan Asuka (552-645)
Early Nara (Hakuho; 645-710)
Nara (710-784) Slide 22: Horyuji kondo (Golden Hall)
L: Nara, Japan
D: Early Nara Period, 680 Slide 24: The image hall housed the major sculptural icons and provided a site of worship and prayer.
The image hall, known as the kondo, has a structure that retains its graceful but sturdy forms beneath the modifications.
The main pillars decrease in diameter from bottom to top, as in classical architecture.
Ceramic tiles were used as roofing materials. Slide 25: Shaka Triad
L: Horyuji kondo, Nara, Japan
D: Asuka Period, 623 Slide 27: Made of Bronze
Made by Tori Busshi
Buddha triad (Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas)
Central figure is Shaka.
Shaka is presented as achieving a higher state of being.
Behind them, a flaming mandorla (a lotus-petal-shaped), bears small figures of other Buddhas.
Elongated heads; elegant stylized folds of the drapery. Slide 28: Yakushi Triad
L: Yakushiji kondo, Nara, Japan
D: Early Nara Period, late 7th-early 8th century Slide 30: Buddha of Healing presides over the Eastern Pure Land
The sculptor favored greater anatomical definition and shape-revealing drapery over the Horyuji statues.
Attendant bodhisattvas reveal the long stylistic trail back to China to India’s sensuous fleshiness sculptures.
Original gilding was destroyed by fire. Slide 31: Amida Triad, wall painting (damaged)
L: Horyuji kondo, Nara, Japan
D: Early Nara Period, 710 Slide 33: Amida, the Buddha of immeasurable light and infinite life, ruler of the Western Pure Land, sits enthroned in his land, attended by bodhisattvas.
Ink and colors
The painting process involved techniques similar to fresco, such as transferring designs from paper to wall by piercing holes in the paper and pushing colored powder through the perforations.
Smooth brush lines gives the figures their substance and life.
Such lines are known as iron-wire lines because they are thin with a suggestion of tensile strength. Slide 34: Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall)
D: Nara Period, 8th century, rebuilt 1700 Slide 36: Housed a 53-foot bronze image of the Cosmic Buddha, Roshana.
Commissioned by Emperor Shomu in 743, which was part of an imperial attempt to unify and strengthen the country.
Served as the administrative center of a network of branch temples built in every province. Heian Period (794-1185) : Heian Period (794-1185) Slide 38: Taizokai (Womb World) Of Ryokai Mandara
L: Kyoto, Japan
D: Early Heian Period, second half of 9th century Slide 40: Hanging scroll, color on silk
Mandara: A diagram of the cosmic universe
Usually hung on the wall of a Shingon kondo.
The Womb World is composed of 12 zones, each representing one of the various dimensions of Buddha nature (universal knowledge, wisdom, etc). Slide 41: Phoenix Hall
L: Byodoin, Uji, Japan
D: Heian Period, 1053 Slide 43: Temple built by Fujiwara Yorimichi in memory of his father Michinaga.
Houses a wooden statue of Amida carved from multiple joined blocks
Building's winged form evokes images of the Buddha’s palace in his Pure Land.
By placing only light pillars on the exterior, elevating the wings, and situating the whole on a reflective pond, there is a floating weightlessness of a celestial architecture.
Building’s name is from its overall birdlike shape and from two bronze phoenixes decorating the ridgepole ends. Slide 44: Scene from Minori chapter, Tale of Genji
L: Goto Art Museum, Tokyo
D: Late Heian Period, first half of 12th century Slide 46: Handscroll, ink and color on paper.
Tale of Genji was written around 1000 by Murasaki Shikubu. It provides a story about the lives and loves of Prince Genji and his descendants.
Genji meets with his greatest love near the time of her death.
The bush-clover in the garden identifies the season as autumn, the season with the fading of life and love.
Upturned ground plane and strong diagonal lines suggest 3-D space.
Native subjects, bright mineral pigments, lack of emphasis on strong brushwork, and general flatness were considered as yamato-e (Japanese related). Slide 47: Detail of the Flying Storehouse, from The Legends of Mount Shigi
L: Chogosonshiji, Nara
D: Late Heian Period, Late 12th century Slide 49: Handscroll, ink and colors on paper
Represented a different kind of Handscroll painting.
The stories belong to a genre of Buddhist tales devoted to miraculous events involving virtuous individuals.
Several scenes in a long, unbroken stretch.
Illustrates three miracles associated with a Buddhist monk named Myoren and his mountaintop temple.
Depicts the astonished landowner, his attendants, and several onlookers in various poses.
The artist exaggerated each feature of the painted figures. Slide 50: Edo Period
(1615 – 1868)
• In 1615, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu consolidated power and established a new shogunate that lasted until 1868.
• Edo (modern Tokyo) Slide 51: • Eastern facade of Katsura Imperial Villa, Kyoto, Japan.
• Edo period Slide 53: • A variety of textures (stone, wood, tile, and plaster) and subdued colors and tonal values enrich the villa’s lines, planes, and volumes.
• The rooms are not large
• Sliding doors Slide 54: The Rimpa School
• different in nature from the Kano and Tosa Schools
• focused on literary themes favored by the nobility
• Rimpa works are characterized by vivid color and extensive use of gold and silver, and often incorporated decorative patterns.
• its ostensible founder: Ogata Korin Slide 55: HONAMI KOETSU
• Boat Bridge, writing box, early 17th century.
Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo.
• Edo period
• Lacquered wood with sprinkled gold and inlay.
• exhibits designs drawn from a poem about the boat bridge at Sano, in the Eastern provinces. Slide 57: • The bridge itself, a dull metal inlay, forms a band across the lid’s convex surface.
• shows the dramatic contrasts of form, texture, and color that mark Rimpa aesthetics, especially the combination of the bridge’s dull metal inlay and the brilliant gold surface.
• The gold decoration comes from careful sprinkling of actual gold dust in wet lacquer. Slide 58: • Tarashikomi – the dropping of ink and pigments onto surfaces still wet with previously applied ink and pigments. Slide 59: YOSA BUSON
• Cuckoo Flying over New Verdure, late 18th century.
• Edo period
• Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk.
• a master writer of haiku
• haiku – the 17-syllable Japanese poetic form Slide 61: • reveals his fully mature style
• incorporated basic elements of Chinese and Japanese literati style by rounding the landscape forms and rendering their soft texture in fine fibrous brush strokes, and by including dense foliage patterns. Slide 62: Japanese Woodblock Prints
• Rapid developments in the printing industry led to the availability of numerous books and printed images.
• ukiyo-e – pictures of the floating world
• planks of fine-grained hardwood, usually cherry
• ukiyo-e printmakers seem to have all been men
• came to be associated with the constantly changing nature of the temporal world of sensual pleasures and entertainment. Slide 63: SUZUKI HARUNOBU
• Evening Bell at the Clock, from Eight Views of the Parlor series, ca. 1765. Woodblock print.
• Edo period
• Harunobu played a key role in developing multicolored prints (nishiki-e).
• These pictures were printed on the best-quality paper sing costly pigments and were highly valued. Slide 65: • beautiful young women and the activities that occupy their daily lives became the subject.
• two young women sit on a veranda
• one appears to be drying herself after a bath, while the other turns to face the chiming clock.
• incorporates the refined techniques characteristic of nishiki-e.
• the flatness of the depicted objects and the rich color recall the traditions of court painting Slide 66: KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI
• The Great Wave off Kanagawa, from Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji series, ca. 1826-1833.
• Woodblock print oban, ink and colors on paper.
• Edo period Slide 68: • Also engages the Japanese pictorial tradition
• The whitecaps’ ominous fingers magnify the wave’s threatening aspect.
• Hokusai placed the wave’s more traditionally flat and powerfully graphic forms in the foreground. Slide 69: The Meiji and Taisho Periods
(1868 – 1926)
• In 1868, the Edo period and the rule of the shogun ended.
• Meiji – Enlightened Rule Slide 70: TAKAHASHI YUICHI
• Oiran (Grand Courtesan), 1872. Oil on canvas.
Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Tokyo.
• Meiji period
• oil painting became a major genre in Japan nostalgic Slide 72: • Takahashi created it for a client homesick for vanishing elements of Japanese culture.
• He did not portray the courtesan’s features in the idealizing manner of ukiyo-e artists but in the more logical manner of Western portraiture.
• The painter’s more abstract tendering of the garments reflects a very old practice in East Asian portraiture. Slide 73: YOKOYAMA TAIKAN
• Kutsugen, Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, 1898. Hanging scroll, color on silk.
• Meiji period
• nihonga (Japanese painting) opposed to yoga (Western painting) Slide 75: • combines a low horizon line and subtle shading effects taken from Western painting with East Asian techniques
• employed strong ink brushwork to define its contours
• applied washes of water-and-glue—based pigments
• used applications of heavy mineral pigments
• the painting’s subject: a Chinese poet who fell out of the emperor’s favor and committed suicide
• It provided a nice analogy to a real-life situation. Slide 76: The Showa and Heisei Periods
(1926 – Present) Slide 77: TANGE KENZO
• national indoor Olympic stadiums, Tokyo, Japan, 1961-1964.
• Showa period
• Kenzo was one of the most daringly experimental architects of the post – World War II period. Slide 79: • employed a cable suspension system that allowed him to shape steel and concrete into remarkably graceful structures.
• his attention to both the sculptural qualities of each building’s raw concrete form and the fluidity of its spaces allies him with architects worldwide. Slide 80: HAMADA SHOJI
• large bowl, 1962. National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.
• Black trails on translucent glaze.
• Another Japanese art form is ceramics.
• Works such as his dish with casual slip designs are unsigned, but are easily recognized by connoisseurs. Slide 82: • Such stoneware is coarser, darker, and heavier than porcelain and lacks the latter’s fine decoration. Slide 83: TSUCHIYA KIMIO
• Symptom, 1987. Installation view, Jeune Sculpture ‘87, Paris 1987.
• Branches or driftwood. Slide 85: • Tsuchiya’s works assert the life forces found in natural materials.
• he has internalized Shinto principles
• His goal was “to bring out and present the life of nature emanating from this energy of trees.”