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Japanese Paintings Depict Westernization Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

Leichleiter 1
Cliff Leichleiter
2-2-2014
English 101
Kristina Young

Japanese Village Life Portrayed Through Paintings

A daily ritual of walking into work was normal in traditional Japanese Village Life. Depicted in the surreal, natural state of awareness, "Enoshima in the Sagami Province" portrayed village life in Japan before an outside influence cultivated change. A Lovely view of Mt Fuji, softly painted scenery, and dream-like people bring together the essence of village life. Another example of a painting supporting the idea is “Kakitsubata (Iris)” which, explains and narrates, a much similar time in history. A third painting, “True View of the Post Office at Edobashi” enclosed ...view middle of the document...

One of Hokusai’s influences on this particular painting was because of “his personal obsession with Mt Fuji.” (Wikipedia, 1) In fact, he created over 35 paintings with Mt Fuji referenced in them. The beauty of this painting is subtle, yet it definitely makes the mark of a true work of art. “The attitude Hokusai expressed toward his human figures is another characteristic that sets him apart from other artists of his day. In the "Thirty-six Views," the artist succeeds in identifying himself completely with the common people - not only with the merchants and artisans of the towns, but with the poor people of the country, living their lives out in the hills and fields far from the sophisticated comforts of the city. He shows them with humor and with entirely unsentimental sympathy that can be very moving. Above all, they are alive; even when a face is hidden a large hat, one feels that Hokusai
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has portrayed a real human being with feelings and a life of his own.” (KatsushikaHokusai.com) The use of softer colors and different brush stroke variations tie this piece together in harmony. It definitely brings in a fresh sense of nostalgia.
In the second painting, “Kakitsubata (Iris),” the artist Korin Ogata brought to life a beautiful scene from any typical Japanese village.
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“Kakitsubata (Iris),”By Korin Ogata |
The flawless tradition of being a Geisha is personified onto paper. This piece of art was done in what can be referred to as “Korin-style” (Immortal Geisha, 1). The painting is said to be based of the artists’ life. This particular painting “describes the famous costume contest held at Maruyama, Kyoto, when the cherry blossoms were at their best there. It happened in the Genroku Period (1668-1702).” (Geisha, 1) “Kakitsubata (Iris)” The painting is full of detail, but done so on a softer level of perception. Tradition seems to run deep in this masterpiece.
The third painting that is shown, “True view of the Post Office at Edobashi,” was created by Kobayashi Ikuhide. This painting was made in 1889; sometime after the ‘Edo Period.’

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“True view of the Post Office at Edobashi,” By Kobayashi Ikuhide |
The colors and attention to detail are noticeable. Paintings such as this one were common from the 1870’s and on because of Industrialization and Westernization. (MIT, 1) This would be considered a “true view” style of painting because of the obvious angle of the interpreted art and the detail. It portrays life in a Japanese village, only with a more modern point of view. Even the people displayed and technology went from simple and traditional to more sophisticated.
A fourth painting that is displayed, “Illustration of Ladies Sewing” by Adachi Ginkō, 1887, was also created after the Edo period. Like in the work of art before, this one also has a more vivid sense of detail and coloring. In my opinion, this painting could have been a representation of an actual place where Japanese woman sewed....

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