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Japanese Synopsis art 162 honors

Throughout a succession of defineable periods in what was essentially a feudal society, Japan's art has reflected the influence and synthesis of external cultures - especially China's. The spread of Buddhism from the mainland and Japan's native Shintoism provided a base for the development of a unique Japanese art, culture, and ceremony, integrating elements from each religion. This art of minimalist taste and controlled restraint emphasizes the beauty of space as it is defined by its enframing elements. Western artists have at times drawn heavily upon this influence in the realm of posters and prints, while Japanese minimalist architecture has been a source of design inspiration to architects and interior designers alike. - DJB

The Art of Japan
Japanese Art 200 - 1868

Haniwa - tubular sculpture made of fired clay (G9-476), Haniwa figures found at burial sites
Shinto - indigenous Japanese religion based on nature
Zen - a Japanese form of Buddhism descended from China's Chi'n branch of Buddhism
Ukiyo-e - artwork representing the "everchaging passing world" (popular events)
Wabi - serenity and austerity as a quality of Japanese art, associated with the spiritual solitude of ZenBuddhism (
Living National Treasures -
Isi Shrine - Shinto worship structure based on canonized construction methodology
Yamato-e - formulaic figural representation, in a cartoonish fashion, reflecting sophisticated taste of nobility
Tea Ceremony - ritualized Japanese cultural event with both Buddhist and Shinto influence
Woodcut - a print produced from the relief carving of a woodblock
Tokonoma - a special niche or alcove in Japanese interior architecture for the display of art objects
Kukai (774-835) - Japanese priest, founder of Shingon Buddhism...influential in the introduction of Chinese learning to of the major literay figures of the erly Heian period (794-1185)...known posthumously as Kobo Daishi. (R- 555)


Archaic Kofun Period (c. A.D. 200 - 552)
Haniwa: Horse and Peasant, fired clay

Nara Period (c. 710 - 794)
Portrait of Priest Ganjin, 763 - 784
5th - 6th cent.

Heian or Fujiwara Period (A.D. 794 - 1185)
The Tale of Genii, Takayoshi, now considered group effort; 12th cent.
Lady Murasaki, novelis, Scroll, color on paper
chapter 15, Yomogi-u, 36, (pict. 1-3), Kashiwagi
39, Yugiri, 50, Azumaya

Kamakura Period (1185 - 1392)
The Buring of the Sanjo Palace, Sect. XI, 13th cent.
Scroll, ink & color on paper

Ashikaga Period ( c.1392 - 1573)
Tea Ceremony Room, Kyoto, Myoki-an Chashitsu, 1512

Momoyama Period (1573 - 1615)
Taian teahouse, Sen No Rikyu, Myokian Temple, Kyoto ca. 1582
Ceramic vessel, Shino Chawan, 3 1/2” h.
Tea Bowl, Aka Raku Chawan Seppo, by Hon-ami Koetsu, 17th cent.
Screen of Samurai Sport, color, ink, and gold-leaf on paper, late 16th cent.
Pine Forest, Hasegawa Tohaku, screen, ink on paper, 5’ 1 3/8” x 11’ 4” 1539 - 1610

Edo Period (1615 - 1868)
White Plum Blossoms & Red Plum Blossoms,, Ogata Korin, ca. 1710- 1716
Screen, ink, color, silver & gold leaf on paper, 5’ 1 5/8” x 5’ 77/8”
The Hour of the Boar, Kitagawa Utamaro, Full color wood-block print ca. 1790
Bust of a Beautiful Lady dressed in a Kimono, 1794
The Actor Seki Sanjuro in the Role of Kiogoku Takumi, Utagawa Kunisada, 1860
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, Katsushika Hokusai c. 1826-1833
The Great Wave of Kanagawa, woodblock, 14 3/4’ w.
Fine Day


Web Museum, Paris

UKIYO-E The Pictures of the Floating World

Ichimura Manjiro Presents Kabuki for Everyone


Zen Buddhism And Its Relationship
to Elements of Eastern And Western Arts

Japan House at UIUC

The Shiga Project
Project created in December 1996 by the sixteen students enrolled at
the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Japan

Chinese and Japanese Art History
WWW Virtual Library


DJB Notes:

Shinden Style - original Japanese architecure, adapted to native taste (circa 11th century)

"Aware" - transcience of life as reflected in the season, the sense of the passing sadness of things

Hiragana - the distinctive Japanese calligraphic style

Zen - influence: Tea Ceremony, ink painting, character-calligraphy, the Incense Ceremony (kodo), the No drama, austeer gravel and rock gardens - "aware" aesthetic ideals of wabi (austerity), "sabi" (the effect of natural age, rust), and the descendent of these concepts "shibui" (astrigent taste).

Shoin-zukuri - architectural style, late 15th cent., further Japanisation of the Shinden style, austere, simple, elegant, and flexible