Week 5 Notes: Lecture 10
Week 5 Notes: Lecture 10 ARH 209
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Date Created: 11/02/15
ARH209 – History of Japanese Art | Lecture 10 | October 29, 2015 Visualizing Power 1 – Ostentatiousness and Rusticity: Tea Rooms and Utensils Medieval Period 4 Emperor and Courtiers – Shogun Warrior Class – Buddhist Monasteries (particularly Zen) | Commoners as cultural advisors (like the members of the Ami School or Sen no Rikyu) Societal Changes: -Zen Buddhism spread but was secularized to an extent with the appropriation of the warrior class Kano Eitoku School: -Painters’ guild found most active between the late Muromachi to Edo period -Patronage by shoguns and Zen temples -Invented new dynamic composition for large scale mural and sliding-door paintings -Accomplished in ink painting and “blue-and-gold” style painting -Specialized in paintings of Chinese motifs, Chinese-style painting of “blue-and-gold”, and monochromatic ink painting Azuchi Castle: -Shows use of gold and monochrome painting *Landscape with Japanese Cypress (Medieval 4 Exam Slides, pg 2): -Compositional similarities to the Abbot’s quarters paintings -Came out of the Zen monastery but stylized to fit the warriors’ aesthetics -Distributing and permeating this art style outside of the Buddhist context Types of Homes: -Shoin-style (warriors/abbots), grass hut style (commoners), and sukiya-style (courtiers) Shoin: -Architectural elements: alcove, staggered shelf, small room to the side with built-in desk, all-over tatami mat; transmitted into secular architecture -Tatami mats are multi-use but mainly used to sleep on, so they are generally the size of an average man -Changes in the style of tea ceremony and reflection of aesthetic/political concerns of the social groups involved Tea Drinking: -Originally came from China and was introduced to Japan in the 8 century so that monks could stay awake during long periods of meditation -Re-introduced into Japan by Yosai (1141-1215) as a health supplement and popularized among warriors -Tea drinking parties among warriors were similar to wine tasting: everyone would try to guess where the tea came from and there would be a precious object on display as a prize for the first person to guess correctly; oftentimes warriors would let a specific person win in order to form an alliance -Tea parties typically happened in Shoin-style rooms Ninomaru Palace, Nijo Castle: -Castle located very close to the emperor and courtiers -Meant for ruler-emperor tea parties -Central keep was not inhabited, but the palace area to the south was inhabited by the regional ruler -Motes and limited access serve as military function -The further into the palace compound you get, the more private it becomes -Tiled, hip and gable roof with rooms connected by corridors Entrance Gate, Ninomaru Palace: -Inside the main gate to the castle, so only those that were friends of the master of the house came through it -Four pillars, thatched roof, gold leaf ornamentation, cusped roof on front incorporated from Zen Buddhism Entrance, Ninomaru Palace: -Large open space where medieval “vehicles” could be parked -View of roofs from other buildings are staggered and ornamented to show a combination of friendliness and grandeur Tosaburai (Waiting Room), Ninomaru Palace: -First room entered in the 4-room palace -Lush decor with green and gold paintings on sliding doors and floral motifs on ceiling -Paintings depict tigers drinking water among bamboo: tiger motif was popular among warriors’ artwork to represent their strength, but here the tigers are low to the ground to remain at eye level when guest is sitting and waiting, simultaneously complimenting the guest on their strength while also intimidating them *Great Audience Hall, Ninomaru Palace (Medieval 4 Exam Slides, pg 3): -Typical Shoin room with staggered shelves, painted gold wall panels, and an alcove -Split-level for the shogun to be positioned on the upper level and everyone else to be seated on the lower level in his presence; creates a physical division of hierarchy -Paintings: use of gold celebrates the grandeur of the shogun and the young pine tree shows increasing power Kuro Shoin (Black Audience Hall), Ninomaru Palace: -Similar to the great audience hall, but the ornamentation is different: the pine tree depicted is shorter, wider, and old -Color is a bit muted -All other trees are cherry blossom trees in bloom -Smaller room creates intimacy: only close friends and most loyal patrons would enter this room with the Shogun Alcove Decorations: -Hanging scrolls with Zen Buddhist motifs, flower vase, candle stand, incense (all central to Zen Buddhist ceremony) -Tea bowls, calligraphy tools, books, etc. would be placed on staggered shelves to show the intellect of the shogun or lords hosting the party -Commoners would be appointed as advisors (or curators) to choose and display these objects Ami School: -Started by 3 people who were advisors to the warriors; became a loophole which allowed commoners to achieve political influence -Advisors would decide what art objects shoguns should acquire, what objects to display based on the seasons, and what objects should be paired together to display *Iridescent Tenmoku Tea Bowl (Medieval 4 Exam Slides, pg 5): -Chinese object created using a wheel and fired at a high temperature -“Tenmoku” = eye of heaven (describes the iridescent spots which happened by accident in the kiln… considered bad craftsmanship in China, but precious in Japan) Sen no Rikyu (1522-91) & “Wabi Sabi”: -“Wabi sabi” = refined rusticity -Sen no Rikyu was a person who introduced the idea of wabi sabi -Prior to Rikyu: “In pursuing this way of tea, great care should be taken to harmonize Japanese and Chinese tastes.” Describing the mixing and matching of Chinese and Japanese tea wares. -Sen no Rikyu: “To those who wait/ Only for flowers/ Show them a spring/ Of grass amid the snow/ In the mountain village.” Meaning you should not just appreciate the obvious, but have the sensibility to find beauty in something imperfect, or something that is in the midst of imperfection. This concept became popular in the aesthetics of tea culture. *Taian Tea Room (Medieval 4 Exam Slides, pg 4): -One of the oldest tea rooms surviving today; attributed to Sen no Rikyu style -Very small, with only two tatami mats in the tea room, a small preparation room, and a small kitchen area; enough room for two guests -Entrance called a “crawl door” meaning you literally had to crawl into it, so that the guest couldn’t bring in a sword and to give the room the illusion of more space -Alcove and raised ceiling also give the illusion of a larger space -Two small windows give the room just enough light – not too much or two little -Rustic features include the tea room’s impracticality and location in the mountains, as well as patches of exposed wattle (internal wall structure) -The host would listen to the guest’s comments about the tea room to decipher if the guest was aesthetically intelligent of not *Black Raku Ware (“Oguro” or “Great Black”) (Medieval 4 Exam Slides, pg 6): -Example of Sen no Rikyu style tea ware -Made by pinching the clay rather than using a wheel, resembling Jomon pottery -Small imperfections due to handmade quality and bubbles created during firing process; finished product is brittle -Intended to allow for the drinker to feel the warmth of the tea in their hands *Photos of these pieces have been posted in the Exam Slides on Canvas
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