2014年10月23日

'Dotaku' ancent bronze handbell had been produced for 400 years, from 200B.C. to 200A.D., however the use as well as the historical background of it are wrapped in mystery.

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An old document, reading "a strange ware was dug out", proved that the first dotaku was excurvated in present Shiga Prefecture near Kyoto in the year of 668. About 500 dotakus have been found, mostly in Western Japan, since then. The size of them had gradually became larger, from 12cm to 144cm in height during 400 years.
In addition, the use of them were supposed to be changed from handbells with strap to decorative ornaments. Nobody knows why, but the production of dotakus suddenly concluded in 200A.D.. Unlike stonewares, earthenwares and the other bronzewares, dotakus have never been excurvated near habitation sites or ancient mounds, but in most cases at the foot of hills far from houses. It is interesting too, that the days when they were intentionally planted were only in the beginning of A.D. and 200A.D.. Many specialists from various fields have claimed their theories about the use and historical background of dotakus though, nobody can reach the right answer yet.

Lisenced tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:56 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年07月17日

'Dogu', a human-shaped biscuit ware, had been made in the 'Jomon' period(12,000BC-3,000BC), before rice cultivation was introduced into Japan.

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Unlike 'Haniwa' biscuit ware in the 'Kofun' period(3rd-7th century), 'dogu' was made in the hunting-gathering era. Since most dogu are regarded as a figure of a woman, whose breasts and bottom are exaggerated, these are thought to have been a token of fertility to be used for a prayer. Although dogu differs in shape from place to place and age to age, its distributional range is centering on the Tohoku Region in Japan. As most dogu are dug up as an incomplete excavation, without an arm or leg, they are thought to have been intentionally broken. In the light of this fact, dogu is thought to have been a religious utensil, which was used to repel an evil spirit by being destroyed in place of a human. Dogu in the early stages had a simple figure with a flat face, in the course of time, it had gradually changed to be decorative with a thicker face.

Licensed tou guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:35 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年06月25日

'Suzuribako' is an inkstone case for traditional Japanese writing tools such as an inkstone, ink stick and writing brush.

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In Japan, a writing brush and Indian ink have been used to write characters as well as to draw a picture since the 8th century. A pencil and fountain pen have been prevailing writing tools since the 19th century, however the writing brush is still used for the signature for a formal document. In other words, the writing brush and Indian ink have long been traditional Japanese writing tools for more than 1,300 years. These writing tools in a suzuribako were personal belongings put close at hand, accordingly the suzuribako gradually became a work of art with fine decoration mainly for the upper class. Particularly after the beginning of the 10th century, when the first decorative suzuribako appeared, many master craftsmen elaborated beautiful masterpieces representing each era.
The suzuribako in the picture is an example of them.
'Makie', which is a kind of lacquer art, on the lid is very much bewitching us.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:44 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする