Japanese Art Before 1392 1


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Japanese Art Before 1392 1

  1. 1. Japanese Art Before 1392 Rachel Celotto, Alexis Parente, and Molly Sachs
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Earliest traces of human habitation in Japan at least 30,000 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Four islands compose the country and were linked to the East Asian landmass, forming a ring from Siberia to Korea around the Sea of Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese art can be divided into 3 periods </li></ul>
  3. 3. Jomon Period (11,000-400 BCE) <ul><li>Named for the patterns on the pottery, which were made by pressing cord onto damp clay ( Jomon means “cord markings”) </li></ul><ul><li>Jomon people were able to develop a hunting/gathering culture </li></ul><ul><li>Around 5,000 BCE agriculture emerged with the planting & harvesting of beans and gourds </li></ul><ul><li>After, Jomon period remained mostly hunting and gathering society that used stone tools and weapons </li></ul><ul><li>People lived in small communities & seemed to have enjoyed a peaceful life, giving them the opportunity to develop their artistry for endeavors such as ceramics </li></ul>
  4. 4. Jomon Pottery <ul><li>Jomon ceramics may have begun the immitation of reed baskets </li></ul><ul><li>Burns on the sides suggest they may have been planted firmly in the ground, then used for cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Applying fire to the sides, rather than the bottom, allowed the vessels to heat more fully and evenly </li></ul><ul><li>Other vessels were crafted with straight sides and flat bottoms (more useful for storage) </li></ul><ul><li>Potters usually crafted using coils of clay then firing them in bonfires at low temperatues </li></ul><ul><li>It is believed that Jomon pottery was made by women </li></ul><ul><li>During this period, communities became much larger and each family wanted their vessel to be a specific design </li></ul><ul><li>The basic form remained the same, but he rim took on new flamboyant shapes </li></ul><ul><li>Jomon potters favored asymmetrical shapes & “meaningful” designs </li></ul>“ Flame Ware” Vessel- Middle Jomon Phase
  5. 5. Dogu <ul><li>People of Jomon period used clay to create small humanoid figures </li></ul><ul><li>Usually never realistic but rather distorted into fascinating shapes </li></ul><ul><li>The dogu tend to have large faces, small arms and hands, and compact bodies </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose remains unknown, but most scholars believe they were effigies, representing the owner or someone else </li></ul><ul><li>Some believed they could transfer illness or unhappiness to a dogu, ten break it to destroy the misfortune </li></ul>
  6. 6. Dogu Figure & Venus of Willendorf
  7. 7. *The dogu of Kurokoma has a face like a cat’s Its tail appears to be touching its chest The marks on the face, neck, and shoulders suggest tattooing and were most likely incised with a bamboo stick
  8. 8. Yayoi (400 BCE-300 CE) & Kofun (300-552 CE) periods <ul><li>Transformation of Japan into agricultural nation (rice cultivation) </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulated by arrival of immigrants from Korea, who brought complex forms of society and government </li></ul><ul><li>Yayoi was a shift from hunting and gathering to social changes: permanent settlements, division of labor into agricultural and non agricultural tasks, more hierarchical forms of social organization, and a centralized government </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of class structure and metal technology developed </li></ul><ul><li>Bronze was used to create weapons and ceremonial objects such as bells </li></ul><ul><li>Yayoi people lived in thatched houses with sunken floors </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitive use of wood and thatch suggest Japanese appreciation of natural materials </li></ul>
  9. 9. Kofun Period (300-552 BC) <ul><li>Also known as “old tombs” period, named for large royal tombs that were built </li></ul><ul><li>Government system equated the emperor with deities such as the sun goddess </li></ul><ul><li>When an emperor died, chamber tombs were constructed (influence of Korea) </li></ul><ul><li>Various gods were placed inside the tomb chambers, including pottery to pacify the spirits of the dead </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the largest tombs during the 5 th and 6 th centuries were constructed as a large keyhole and surrounded by moats </li></ul>
  10. 10. Daisen Burial Mound: pottery forms of cylinders, buildings, animal & human figurines (placed atop tombs)
  11. 11. Haniwa <ul><li>Placed atop the hills of the tomb sites </li></ul><ul><li>First simple cylinders that held jars with ceremonial offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Made in the shapes of ceremonial objects, houses, and boats </li></ul><ul><li>Living creatures, such as birds, deer, dogs, monkeys, cows, and horses were added to them </li></ul><ul><li>By 6 th century, haniwa in human shapes were crafted </li></ul><ul><li>Haniwa were left unglazed to reveal their clay bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Never perfectly symmetrical (slightly off-center eyes, irregular bodies, and unequal arms) </li></ul>
  12. 13. Asuka Period (552-645 BC) <ul><li>New forms of philosophy,medicine, music, foods, clothing, agricultural methods, city planning, and arts and architecture introduced from Korea and China </li></ul><ul><li>Most significant introductions: Buddhism, centralized government structure, and a system of writing </li></ul><ul><li>After Buddhism was accepted by the imperial family, it was adopted as the state religion </li></ul><ul><li>Worship was focused in temples </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhism offered profound teachings of meditation and enlightenment, and introduced new methods of painting and sculpture </li></ul>
  13. 14. Horyu-Ji <ul><li>Within the compound, there are only two buildings, the kondo (golden hall) and the five-story pagoda </li></ul><ul><li>Kondo is filled with Buddhist images & used for worship ceremonies </li></ul><ul><li>Pagoda serves as a reliquary and is not entered </li></ul>- Most significant japanese temple & oldest wooden temple in the world - Founded in 607 CE by Prince Shotoku - Built as an early monument to the Buddhist faith - Consists of a rectangular courtyard
  14. 15. Buddhist Symbols <ul><li>Lotus Flower: usually shown as white water lily. Symbolizes spiritual purity, wholeness of creation, and cosmic harmony. </li></ul><ul><li>Lotus Throne: Buddhas are frequently shown seated on an open lotus as a representation of nirvana </li></ul><ul><li>Chakra : ancient sun symbol, the wheel (chakra) symbolizes states of existence (the wheel of life) and the Buddhist doctrine (the wheel of the law). </li></ul><ul><li>Mandala: diagrams of cosmic realms, representing order and meaning within the spiritual universe </li></ul>
  15. 16. Nara Period (645-794 BC) <ul><li>Named for Japan’s first permanent imperial capital </li></ul><ul><li>Imperil system solidified into an effective government that could withstand the powerful aristocratic families that had traditionally dominated the political world </li></ul><ul><li>Strong central authority was the construction in Nara of magnificent Buddhist temples and monasteries </li></ul><ul><li>Shinto became more formalized, while Buddhism advanced to become the most significant element in Japanese culture </li></ul><ul><li>Sutras- important method for copying Buddhist sacred texts </li></ul><ul><li>- believed to be beneficial and magical </li></ul><ul><li>- the copying of the words of Buddha was considered an effective act of worship by the nobility </li></ul>
  16. 17. Nara Art <ul><li>Most of the art in the Nara period was sacred </li></ul><ul><li>Murals represented what many scholars believed to be golden age of Buddhist painting, an era that embraces the Tang dynasty in China, the unified Silla period in Korea, and the Nara period in japan </li></ul><ul><li>Amida Buddha (710 CE) </li></ul><ul><li>- Wall painting of the Amida Buddha of the western Paradise. </li></ul><ul><li>- Amida’s body is rounded, his face is fully fleshed and serene, and his hands form the dharmachakra </li></ul><ul><li>Nara period was an age of faith, and Buddhism permeated the upper levels of society </li></ul>
  17. 18. Heian Period (794-1185 CE) <ul><li>Generally peaceful conditions contributed to a new air of self-reliance on the part of the Japanese </li></ul><ul><li>The imperial government severed ties to China in the 9 th century and was sustained by support from the aristocratic families </li></ul><ul><li>An efficient method of writing was developed, and the rise of vernacular literature generated masterpieces, such as the world’s first novel, Lady Murasaki’s The Tale of Genji. </li></ul><ul><li>Two major religious sects emerged: Esoteric Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism </li></ul>
  18. 19. Esoteric Buddhist Art <ul><li>Two esoteric sects of Buddhism named Tendai and Shingon, grew to dominate Japanese religious life </li></ul><ul><li>It was strongly influenced by polytheistic religions, such as Hinduism </li></ul><ul><li>The universal Buddha, Danichi (“Great Sun”), became more popular </li></ul><ul><li>Esoteric Buddhism is hierarchical Esoteric Buddhist images had a sense of spiritual force and potency </li></ul><ul><li>It was a religion for the educated aristocracy, not for the masses </li></ul>
  19. 20. Pure Land Buddhist Art <ul><li>During this period of the later half of the Heian period, a rising military class threatened the peace and tranquility of court life </li></ul><ul><li>Pure Land Buddhism taught that the Western Paradise of the Amida Buddha could be reached through faith </li></ul><ul><li>Pure Land Buddhism held that the chanting of mantra- the phrase Namu Amida Butsu (“Hail to Amida Buddha”) would lead to the rebirth of the Amida Paradise. Monks spread this chant to all parts of the country. </li></ul><ul><li>It appealed to all levels of education and sophistication. </li></ul><ul><li>Pure Land Buddhism has remained one of the most popular forms of Buddhism in Japan ever since </li></ul>
  20. 21. Calligraphy & Painting <ul><li>Women were a vital force in the Heian society and the place of women in Japanese society contributed greatly to the art at the Heian court </li></ul><ul><li>Women were noted for their poetry and prose, including diaries, mythological tales, and courtly romances </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Mursaki ( The Tale of Genji ) wrote in Japanese at a time when men still wrote prose in Chinese, and her work remains one of the world’s great novels </li></ul><ul><li>One prominent style of Japanese calligraphy during this period was “women’s hand” </li></ul><ul><li>This style was characterized by delicate lines, strong colors, and asymmetrical compositions usually viewed from above through invisible roofs </li></ul><ul><li>The Genji paintings do not show emotion on their faces, instead, their feelings are conveyed by colors, poses, and the total composition of the scenes. </li></ul><ul><li>Each line is brisk and lively, and there are no strokes of the brush other than those needed to depict each scene </li></ul><ul><li>The paintings are rendered in small size </li></ul>
  21. 22. Detail of Frolocking Animals (handscroll ink on paper) Scene from Tale of Genji
  22. 23. Kamakura Period (1185-1333 CE) <ul><li>Countries of the Heian era became so engrossed in their own refinement that they neglected their responsibilities for governing the country </li></ul><ul><li>Clans of warriors (samurai) from outside the capital grew increasingly strong </li></ul><ul><li>Samurai leaders soon became the real powers in Japan and dominated the secular arts </li></ul><ul><li>The era began when Minamoto Yoritomo defeated his Taira rivals and assumed power as a general in chief </li></ul><ul><li>To resist the softening effects of courtly life in Kyoto, he established his military capital in Kamakura </li></ul><ul><li>He began a rule that lasted in various forms until 1868 </li></ul>
  23. 24. “ Burning of Sajo Palace” The Tale of Genji <ul><li>One of the greatest painted hand scrolls in Tale of Genji </li></ul><ul><li>Battle fought between the Minamoto & the Taira, whose battles for domination became famous in literature & art </li></ul><ul><li>Scroll conveys a sense of eyewitness reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Style of painting includes brisk and lively line work, refined brushstroke, and color </li></ul><ul><li>Main element is the savage depiction of warfare </li></ul><ul><li>The era of poetic refinement was now over in Japan, and the new world of the samurai began to dominate the secular arts </li></ul>
  24. 25. Kamakura Period: Pure Land Buddhist Art <ul><li>The beginning of the 11 th century in Japan was marked by rising militarism, political turbulence, and the excesses of the imperial court </li></ul><ul><li>The unsettling times seemed to confirm the coming of Mappo (a long prophesied dark age of spiritual degeneration </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese reacted by turning to the promise of simple salvation extended by the Pure Land Buddhism </li></ul>
  25. 26. Monk Sewing <ul><li>Kosho’s Kuya Speaking epitomized the faith expressed in Pure Land Buddhist art </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, Zen Buddhism was being introduced to Japan from China </li></ul><ul><li>Zen monks lived settles lives in monasteries- usually in the mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese Zen monks grew and cooked their own food </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to meditation, they practiced genjo koan , taking an ordinary circumstance in their immediate world, such as mending a garment, as an object of meditation </li></ul><ul><li>Monk paintings has a sense of activity within daily life, involving the viewer directly with the painter and the subject, which was a feature in many Zen paintings </li></ul>
  26. 27. Kosho, Kuya Preaching , Kamakura period Epitomized the faith expressed in Pure Land Buddhist art
  27. 28. Raigo Paintings <ul><li>Pure Land Buddhism taught that even one sincere invocation of the sacred chant could lead the most wicked sinner to the Western Paradise </li></ul><ul><li>Paintings called raigo were created depicting the Amida Buddha, accompanied by bodhisattvas, coming down to earth to welcome the soul of the dying believer </li></ul><ul><li>Golden cords were often attached to these paintings, which were taken to the homes of the dying </li></ul><ul><li>Raigo paintings radiate warmth and compassion </li></ul><ul><li>In every form of Buddhism, paintingds and sculpture became very important elements in religious teaching and belief </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Descent of Amida and the Twenty-five Bodhisattvas </li></ul><ul><li>A portrayal of Amida Buddha and 25 bodhisattvas swiftly descending over mountaings </li></ul><ul><li>Employs gold paint and silvers of gold leaf in elaborate patterning to suggest the radiance of their draperies </li></ul><ul><li>In the flickering light of oil lamps and torches, raigo paintings would have gleamed and glistened in a temple or a dying person’s home </li></ul>
  29. 30. Maesta (Madonna Enthroned)- Cimabue 1270 CE
  30. 31. Review <ul><li>The history of Japanese art illuminates an interplay between native traditions and transmitted culture </li></ul><ul><li>Jomon culture produced the world’s first ceramics & their early technology developed into a distinctive pottering style </li></ul><ul><li>Yayoi and the Kofun periods saw technological developments, including new ceramic techniques and the casting of bronze </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mounded tombs appeared with haniwa figures to guard them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During the Asuka and Nara periods, cultural transmission from China by Korea brought a new system of writing, the Buddhist religion, and a new tile-roofed architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a permanent capital city was established & a Chinese style government was developed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During the Heian period, the Japanese developed sects of Esoteric Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The artistic legacy of these sects is seen in mandalas and raigo painting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calligraphy was created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Kamakura period was ruled by military shoguns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The shogun and samurai ddopted a new form of Buddhism from China, called Zen, in which they found self discipline </li></ul></ul>