Japanese Art Before 1932

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Japanese Art Before 1932

  1. 1. Chapter 11: Japanese Art before 1392 Douglas Chin AP Art History Mrs. Uttendorfer
  2. 2. Some essentials about Japan <ul><li>Human habituation records are dated to 28,000 BCE during the Paleolithic period. </li></ul><ul><li>Some pottery dates to 10,000 BCE, making it the oldest known. </li></ul><ul><li>First traces of historical writing date to around the first century CE. </li></ul><ul><li>Originally the archipelago of islands that makes up Japan were attached to mainland Asia and the Sea of Japan was a lake. </li></ul><ul><li>Glacial melting caused lowlands to flood and in turn isolated Japan. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout history Japan has kept a policy of isolation, but in ancient times it had extensive connections with Korea and China. </li></ul><ul><li>Each period had some new cultural transformation; be it the introduction of Buddhism in the Asuka period to the severing of foreign ties and the rise of central government in the Heian period. </li></ul>
  3. 3. 11-2: Vessel (no name) <ul><li>From the Asahi Mound in the Toyama Prefecture (a province). Height: 37.4 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>Jomon; ~ 2000 BCE. </li></ul><ul><li>Ceramic/clay pottery with jomon styled details and texture. </li></ul><ul><li>The incised patterns are highly geometric, similar and repeated, but not perfectly symmetrical, typical of late Jomon pottery. </li></ul><ul><li>Like most late Jomon pottery, this vessel’s rim is flamboyant, asymmetrical, and shows the mastery of Jomon potters. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 11-3: Dogu statue <ul><li>This nameless statue is just one of many dogu statues. Height: 25.2 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>From Kurokoma, in Yamanashi Prefecture. </li></ul><ul><li>Jomon; ~ 2000 BCE. </li></ul><ul><li>Like all dogu figures, this one has a large face, small compact body, it is very abstract and has animalistic qualities. </li></ul><ul><li>These figures are speculated to have of served as symbolic effigies (one would transfer an illness to it, then smash it, thereby eliminating the illness). </li></ul>
  5. 5. 11-4: Haniwa statue <ul><li>This is just one example of many haniwa statues. </li></ul><ul><li>It is from Kyoto. Height: 68.5 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>Yayoi and Kofun period; ~ 500 CE. </li></ul><ul><li>Unglazed clay or ceramic statues. </li></ul><ul><li>Never perfectly symmetrical, expressive through its simplicity. In the form of humans and animals. </li></ul><ul><li>These were placed on top of artificial hills which were covering tombs. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 11-6: Horyu-ji temple complex <ul><li>Asuka period, ~ 607 CE. In the Nara Prefecture. </li></ul><ul><li>This Buddhist wooden temple was created by Prince Shotoku. </li></ul><ul><li>Has a kondo (golden hall) and a five-story pagoda. </li></ul><ul><li>Inside there is the Tamamushi Shrine which contains several paintings celebrating tales of Jakata (stories of Buddha). </li></ul><ul><li>Tori Busshi created the Shata Triad which is also inside the temple. This is a bronze sculpture of Buddha with a clear influence from Chinese styles. </li></ul>11-8
  7. 8. Todai-ji temple complex [no #] <ul><li>Nara period; ~ 752 CE. </li></ul><ul><li>This massive complex in the capital Nara was once the largest wooden structure in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>All of its structures were meant to worship Buddha and only one of its pagoda’s could fit in the Horyu-ji complex. </li></ul>
  8. 9. 11-10: Womb World mandala <ul><li>This is just one of many mandalas. </li></ul><ul><li>From To-ji Kyoto. Dimensions: 1.83 by 1.54 m. </li></ul><ul><li>Heian period; ~ 800 CE. Esoteric Buddhist art. </li></ul><ul><li>This elaborate colored silk piece depicts the hierarchy of the Buddhist deities. </li></ul><ul><li>Dainichi, the universal Buddha, was always in the center and was later then accompanied by other minor buddhas and bodhisattvas. </li></ul><ul><li>Esoteric Buddhists used these in various religious functions. </li></ul>
  9. 10. 11-11: Byodo-in temple complex <ul><li>From Kyoto Prefecture, in Uji Mountains. </li></ul><ul><li>Heian period; ~ 1053 CE. Pure Land Buddhist art. </li></ul><ul><li>Temple has thin wooden columns giving it a sense of airiness. </li></ul><ul><li>An artificial pond in the shape of the Sanscrit letter ‘A’ lies in front of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Inside is a wooden statue of Amida Buddha created by Jocho. It was constructed by the joint wood method . Separate pieces were placed together, rather than having the figure carved from one solid block of wood. </li></ul>11-12
  10. 12. 11-15: Frolicking Animals <ul><li>From Kozan-ji Kyoto. Height: 30.5 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>Heian period, Secular painting; ~ 1100 CE. Handscroll, ink on paper. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a perfect example of “men’s hand” style of Secular painting. It is attributed to Toba Sojo. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus is on outdoor scene. It is satirical with plenty of visual humor. </li></ul><ul><li>The lines are crisp and clean and there are no brush strokes other than those that are needed to depict the scene. </li></ul>
  11. 13. 11-16: Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace <ul><li>Kamakura period; ~ 1200 CE. Handscroll, ink and colors on paper. Dimensions: 41.3 by 699.7 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>Energetic battle depiction that captures the brutality of the attack. </li></ul><ul><li>Lively lines, refined brushwork, and vivid coloration. </li></ul><ul><li>All these elements help portray the political turmoil that was brewing throughout Japan at the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Combines elements of both styles of Secular painting; brisk lines of “men’s hand” and the aerial view point of “women’s hand”. </li></ul>
  12. 14. 11-19: Monk Sewing <ul><li>Zen Buddhist art; ~ 1300 CE. Ink on paper. Attributed to Kao Ninga. Dimensions: 83.5 by 35.4 cm. </li></ul><ul><li>Great example of Zen Buddhist ideals and art. </li></ul><ul><li>Monks used to be so revered that they had servants carry out simple tasks for them. </li></ul><ul><li>However, Zen Buddhists believe in individualism and independency. So the monk here is mending his own garment, he carries out this menial task for himself and by himself. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Haniwa Horse <ul><li>Yayoi and Kofun period; ~ 400 CE. </li></ul><ul><li>Clay figure, unglazed. </li></ul><ul><li>Its simple geometry and abstract rendering make it similar to a common votive statue. </li></ul><ul><li>The body is undecorated and not textured, but the mane has slight parallel lines symbolizing the hairs. </li></ul><ul><li>This figure has riding gear on it, such as a saddle and reins, perhaps symbolic of the person’s horseback riding skills in the tomb underneath it. </li></ul>
  14. 16. Fugen Bosatsu <ul><li>Most likely created in the Heian period; ~ 1100 CE. Color on silk. </li></ul><ul><li>This silk piece depicts a part of the Lotus Sutra. Salvation for women was promised and a goddess or holy priest would carry it out. It may have been a work in an upperclass Kamakura household though. </li></ul><ul><li>The figure in the piece has simple aura like shapes around her head, symbolizing divinity. Her clothes are extremely decorative with vibrant colors and many intricate details. She perches in a floating lotus flower as well, symbolic of spiritual awakening. </li></ul><ul><li>She was either extremely high up on the social ladder or a humanistic portrayal of a deity. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Gonzo, Teacher of Kukai <ul><li>Heian or Kamakura period; ~ 1100 CE. Colors on silk. </li></ul><ul><li>Depicts Gonzo, teacher of Kukai. </li></ul><ul><li>Kukai was one of the earliest spreaders of Esoteric Buddhism. </li></ul><ul><li>Kukai found his own monastery at Kongobuji on Mount koya. He was a huge force in the introduction of Esoteric Buddhism in and out of Japan. </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that Kukai’s teacher, who was a modest Nara Buddhist himself, had himself depicted in a silk piece shows the importance of religion and the impact of Buddhism as a whole on Japan. </li></ul><ul><li>The writing on top and Gonzo’s relaxed and carefree pose indicate the harmony he has achieved by his Buddhist faith. </li></ul>

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