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Japanese Arts

Hi All! This topic is art.Art is not a part of my life. I have not learned Japanese art in school. So I just know a few of the Japanese arts. But I want to tell you that Japanese arts are interesting and beautiful. I am telling you about Japanese traditional art like Ukiyoe, Karesansui and Kado. I think some of you know or have heard to Katsushita Hokusai, who is the most famous Ukiyoe painter because he was selected by Life Magazine as one of the most

important 100 people in the last 1000 years in 1998. First, I am going to tell you about Ukiyoe (浮世絵) painter. He was born in Tokyo in the later Edo period, around 1760. He was poor. But he did not care about money. He was very unique. He moved 93 times in his entire life and changed his pen name 36 times. However, when you see his works, you would think that his works are so dynamic and moving. These pictures below are a part of his famous works.

This title is Kanagawa-okinamiura:神奈川沖波裏(かながわおきなみうら)It means the great wave off Kanagawa prefecture. This is one of his famous paintings: Fugaku-sanjurokkei( 冨嶽三十六景ふがくさんじゅうろっけい). Fugaku means Mt. Fuji. And Sanjurokkei means 36 views. He draw 36 views of Mt. Fuji that he saw at various places, like other pictures.

Second, I would like to tell you about 枯山水(Karesannsui). Karesansui is the garden that symbolically represents the view of the mountain and river without water using white sand and an arrangement of stones. People who were alive in the past sat down and meditated in front the garden while imagining nature, like the fall, the sound of big river, or the silent sea in order to find who they are. That is the Buddhism ideology.

The popular ones are in 銀閣寺(Zinkakuji) and  龍安寺(Ryouanzi):the Zen temples were built in Kyoto in the Muromachi period from 1336 to 1573. What did you have the image of the garden?

Finally, I am talking about Kado(華道), which literally means flower way. Actually, the real meaning is flower arrangement. We call it Kado or Ikebana(生け花). I know there are flower arrangements all over the world lately. But the origin of flower arrangement is Japan. It started in the seventh century, around the Heian period in Japan. It took hold  in the thirteenth century during the Muromachi period by a Buddhism priest. Afterwards, in the latter term of the Edo period, it became popular among common people. How to make it depends on the persuasion. It is common that Japanese flower arrangements represent seasons. For instance, if the work was made in spring, flowers we could see in spring were used. And it expresses spring like the picture below.These works below represent four seasons like spring, summer, fall and winter. Please guess which one express which season.

What did you feel about Japanese Arts? Hope all of you enjoyed Japanese Arts.

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