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Art of Japan 2

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Japanese Art during the Edo Period and Meiji Restoration

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Art of Japan 2

  1. 1. ART OF JAPAN
  2. 2. Edo (1615-1868) • Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616)– became shogun in 1603, started the Tokugawa Period in Japan • Edo – also known by this name, referring to the capital, which is present-day Tokyo • His castle was destroyed in 1657, which was 192 feet tall and covered about 73.25 hectares (grounds) • Entourage: 50,000 samurai and their staff • Mansions of around 260 daimyo
  3. 3. Edo (1615-1868) Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) In office, 1603-1605 but remained in power until his death in 1616 The Tokugawa clan crest
  4. 4. Edo (1615-1868) • This set up helped centralize and stabilize the shogunate, which followed a neo- Confucian philosophy that required unquestioned loyalty of all to the shogun and state. • Forbade travel outside the country. • Though restrictive, the Edo period was marked by general peace and prosperity. Japanese feudal class system
  5. 5. Edo (1615-1868) Developments: • Growth of large cities • A money economy • Rise of literacy • New middle class that Included many merchants By 18th century, Edo may have been the largest city in the world with a population of about 1 million. Urban Edo Sifting rice
  6. 6. Edo (1615-1868) Illustration of bustling Edo, Japan
  7. 7. Edo (1615-1868) The arts reflected this new reality: • Pictorial arts – illustrated life in the local entertainment or pleasure district with its kabuki theaters, dining establishments, and prostitutes. • These districts were frequented by many wealthy Edo businessmen and shogun’s men. The two Kabuki actors Bando Zenji and Sawamura Yodogoro; 1794, fifth month by Sharaku, ukiyo-e artist
  8. 8. Edo (1615-1868) • Kabuki • Appealed to the tastes of the merchants and samurais • Noh drama • Elitist • Refined aesthetics
  9. 9. Edo (1615-1868) • Literature- light reading • Romances, tales of the supernatural, travel guides • Kyôka (crazy verse) – written by leading poets which parodied the traditional forms of Japanese poetry still venerated in tradition-bound cities of Kyoto and Osaka, Buddhist monasteries and imperial court. • Woodblock printing –a magnificent tradition developed by the Japanese using inexpensive and colorful images; reflecting the realities of the new world Hokusai komachi poem
  10. 10. Edo (1615-1868) • Katsura Detached Palace (Kyoto) • Elegant retreat house built for a prince. • A fine example of architectural refinement wherein the elements are reduced to essential forms • Quintessence of Japanese taste (essential embodiment) • Still used by the imperial family today. • Asymmetrical in plan (in contrast to the usual symmetrical country homes, temples and religious complexes) • Every detail is finished like a fine piece of furniture • Overall feeling – reflects the values of the tea ceremony, of simplicity, reticence and natural harmony.
  11. 11. Edo (1615-1868) The Façade of the Katsura Pavilion
  12. 12. Edo (1615-1868) Consists of 3 sections or shoins joined at the center
  13. 13. Edo (1615-1868) • Features: • Consists of 3 sections or shoins joined at the center • Gives it an irregular, staggered or stepped outline • Based on the tatami module of 3 x 6 ft • Offers a wide variety of space • No grand palatial façade, nor grand hallway • Succession of continuous spaces that flow from one space to another • Fusuma (sliding panels) - is moved to open or close spaces • Occupant can reconfigure the shoin to meet his needs
  14. 14. Succession of continuous spaces that flow from one space to another
  15. 15. Interior showing Fusuma or sliding panels that can be moved to open or close spaces.
  16. 16. Edo (1615-1868) • Inside, the visitor experiences a shifting perspective. • With its many verandas, the outside is connected with the interior • The veranda offers the imperial family a varied view of nature • Reflects the beauty of haiku (poems) which extols the elegance of nature.
  17. 17. One of the many gardens outside the Palace.
  18. 18. Edo (1615-1868) • Ukiyo-e / Ukiyo-ye : pictures of the floating or passing world • Buddhist term: describes the transient or ephemeral quality of earthly existence. • Genre of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries • Also, images of the modern or fashionable world • A product of the rising literacy in Edo and elsewhere • Started by the growing middle class of Kyoto (who were excluded from elitist arts) • Inspired by the tradition of illustrating city life in China such as in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Canton and Shanghai
  19. 19. Edo (1615-1868) • Illustrated scenes from daily life particularly the pleasure quarters of cities (baths, brothels, kabuki theaters) • Images of the tastes, desires and pressures of the growing middle class • Examples are colorful prints of attractive young women and famous men actors from kabuki theater • These were priced affordably at that time (cost about as much as a worker’s meal) • At present these prints are highly valued and eagerly collected. Portrait of actors Hand-coloured print, Kiyonobu, 1714
  20. 20. Edo (1615-1868) • Utamaro • Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) • Had access to the intellectual elite of the day • Worked with his publisher Tsutaya Juzaburo • Used bold lines and monumental figures • Famous work: Woman Holding a Fan • Hokusai • Katsushika Hokusai (1760- 1849) • The first major ukiyo-e artist to focus on the landscape and less on the figure • Cultivated meishoe, images of famous places with poetic associations • Famous work: The Great Wave of Kanagawa
  21. 21. Edo (1615-1868) Utamaro, Woman Holding a Fan, Utamaro, Two Beauties with a Bamboo, 1795
  22. 22. Edo (1615-1868) Katsushika Hokusai, Great Wave off Kanagawa, 1829-32, colour woodcut
  23. 23. Meiji (1868-1912) • Meiji Restoration (1868) – refers to the return of imperial rule in Japan • Meiji –enlightened government • Brought on by the arrival of the Americans in Japan with the goal of establishing trade relations with Japan • Arrival of Commodore Perry on July 8, 1853 at Uraga Harbor in Edo • Naval squadron of 4 ships and 560 men to establish trade relations with Japan Matthew C. Perry, c. 1856-58, in a photograph by Matthew Brady.
  24. 24. Meiji (1868-1912)
  25. 25. Meiji (1868-1912) • Highlighted the superiority of the Western technology • Inspired the Japanese to modernize their country to avoid being colonized (as with the rest of Asia) and to become an independent world power. • National charter oath (1868): “Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundation of imperial rule.” The Meiji Restoration modernized Japan's economy and military and allowed it to become a dominant power in Asia. The picture is a wood cut representation of the changes the Meiji Restoration created.
  26. 26. Meiji (1868-1912) • Between 1862-1910, Japan participated in 36 international exhibitions to acquire and update their information on Western art and industry. • They sought to combine “Japanese ethics with Western science”; to blend its past with modern ideas. • Westerners arrived in Japan to work and teach while Japanese studied in the West. • The challenge was how to preserve their traditional art and how to incorporate new ideas without compromising their traditions. • What resulted was an exchange that was both influential to both cultures (America, Europe in relation to Japan).
  27. 27. Meiji (1868-1912) • Printmaking/Painting: • Continued to interest artists of the Meiji Restoration. • Yokohama –a harbor and trading center, attracted many artists • These artists made images of the topography of the harbor and the steam ships docking at its harbor. Hasimoto Sadahide, Foreigners in Yokohama: Igirusin (English) and Nankinjun (Chinese), 1860s, color print from wood blocks, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  28. 28. Meiji (1868-1912) • Sphere of influence expanded from Yokohama to Tokyo and other metropolitan centers. • Printmakers incorporated photography and Western graphics. • Japanese started studying and creating oil painting as they studied in Europe and locally with Western teachers. • Some local artists incorporated the Western tradition but remained loyal to Japanese culture iconography. Shigeru Aoki (1882-1911) was a Japanese painter, noted for his work in combining Japanese legends and religious subjects with the yōga (Western style) art movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century Japanese painting
  29. 29. Meiji (1868-1912) • Paradise Under the Sea (1907) • One of the masterpieces of the Meiji Restoration which is a combination of scientific knowledge, ideas of Impressionism and the narratives of the Pre-Raphaelites. • Japanese legend: Prince Fire-fade visited the Palace of the God of the Sea and fell in love with his daughter • The composition and the theme (mythology) reflect Shigeru’s interest in the English painters known as the Pre-Raphaelites. • Technique is more of French Impressionist using light feathery brushstrokes. • He studied the effect of light under water by diving in the Bay of Nagasaki (with diving suit and helmet) and made sketches of it. • The brushworks captured the fleeting and diffused light in the women’s wet dresses and the shadowy skin of the prince. Aoki Shigeru, Paradise Under the Sea, 1907 oil on canvas, Ishibasi Museum of Art
  30. 30. Summary • The ancient and native aesthetics of Shinto remain part of Japanese art and architecture today. • This religion and aesthetics emphasize purity, harmony with nature, a respect for natural materials, simplicity, rusticity, obedience and the value of traditions. • The Buddhist arts of China and Korea from the 6th century onwards underwent many changes and adaptations in Japan. • Its aesthetic is felt in the various art forms in Japan: paintings have many open, empty spaces; Shinto shrines are built like ancient granaries; Japanese poems are very terse; elite dramas are highly restrained and formal; and tea ceremonies have long periods of silence for contemplation.
  31. 31. Summary • This simplicity and minimalism underscore an art that is complex. It requires that the viewer take an active part in their appreciation and experience. • In effect, the slowing of action and even inaction becomes an integral activity in the experience. • Japanese art has survived many foreign influences (Korea, China, West). • After she reopened to the West (1850s), Japanese art entered an ongoing dialogue with the art and culture of the West. • Today, the traditional forms of art co-exist harmoniously with the avant garde, which inspired and influenced the international art world.
  32. 32. Source: O’Riley, Michael Kampen, Art Beyond the West, second edition, 2006, Pearson-Prentice Hall
  33. 33. END

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