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Japanese Aesthetics As seen by Donald Keene. Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C. Black Raku tea bowl, Copy of "Shishi" by Raku Do'nyu Raku Ryonyu,

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Presentation on theme: "Japanese Aesthetics As seen by Donald Keene. Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C. Black Raku tea bowl, Copy of "Shishi" by Raku Do'nyu Raku Ryonyu,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Japanese Aesthetics As seen by Donald Keene

2 Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C. Black Raku tea bowl, Copy of "Shishi" by Raku Do'nyu Raku Ryonyu, Japan, Edo period, late 18th & early 19th century Glazed clay Freer Gallery of Art F (images from Smithsonian websites:

3 4 characteristics Suggestion Irregularity Simplicity Perishability Naturalness (Morris) Hanging scroll. Winter landscape: a ravine. Kano Hogai, Japan, Edo period, Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Freer Gallery of Art F

4 Karatsu ware Tea Ceremony: 18th century. Edo period Stoneware with iron decoration under clear, coloress glaze; lacquered wooden lid. H: 15.4 W: 18.2 cm Japan Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F a-b Suggestion? Irregularity? Simplicity? Perishability?

5 Tokonoma “picture alcove” (from ArtStor)

6 Jar, possibly Karatsu ware Meiji era Stoneware with rice- straw ash glaze and trails of wood-ash glaze. H: 24.3 W: 19.6 cm Japan. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F

7 Bamboo stems with branches and foliage. 19th century. Kishi Ganku, (Japanese, ). Edo period Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk. H: 0.0 W: 86.5 cm. Japan. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F

8 Akahada ware tea bowl with design of standing cranes Edo period. Stoneware with white and black slips under clear glaze. H: 8.7 W: 12.1 D: 12.1 cm. Japan. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F

9 Ofuku ware tea bowl in style of Vietnamese ware. 17th century. Edo period. Stoneware with white slip and cobalt decoration under clear glaze. H: 8.9 W: 14.1 D: 14.1 cm. Nagoya or Seto, Japan. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F

10 Yoshida Kenkō Tsurezuregusa--Essays in Idleness –Kemmu Restoration Transition between Kamakura and Muromachi Shogunates Period of treachery, shift in power from East to West, emergence of warrior aesthetic and rise of Zen Buddhism.

11 The Japanese Garden, the sumie ink painting See Bowdoin website: –See especially Ryoanji Sesshu

12 Ryoanji (from Huntington Archive, via ArtStor)

13 Ryōanji (from Huntington Archive, via ArtStor)

14 Sesshū landscapes (National Museum Tokyo; Seattle Art Museum)

15 Tanizaki Jun’ichiro In Praise of Shadows A Japanese room might be likened to an ink-wash painting, the paper-paneled shoji being the expanse where the ink is thinnest, and the alcove where it is darkest. Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room, I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light. For the beauty of the alcove is not the work of some clever device. An empty space is marked off with plain wood and plain walls, so that the light drawn into it forms dim shadows within emptiness. There is nothing more. An yet, when we gaze into the darkness that gathers behind the cross beams, around the flower vase, beneath the shelves, though we know perfectly well it is mere shadow, we are overcome with the feeling that in this corner of the atmosphere their reigns complete and utter silence; that here in the darkness immutable tranquility holds sway. The “mysterious Orient” of which Westerners speak probably refers to the uncanny silence of these dark places. [as quoted in Paul Varley, Japanese Culture 4th ed., p. 312]

16 Tōshōgū (Tokugawa Ieyasu’s shrine in Nikkō) [image ArtStor]


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