2010年10月28日

A 'Bonsai', potted dwarfed tree, is one of Japan's art form to realize a shape of natural tree in a small plant pot.

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The origin of a 'Bonsai' is unclear, however it likely stems from a traditional practice to enjoy a miniature garden observed in ancient China, which came to Japan in the Heian period, in the 9th century. Later in the history in the 17th century, it turned to be very popular as a hobby of samurai warriors and had taken root as an unique art style in the country. Taking more than hundreds of years, a pine tree, apricot tree, maple tree and so on had been elaborately taken care of with various techniques and stylizations such as trimming, fertilizing and correcting the shape of trees. Finally it has become as if a natural stately tree although planted in a small plant pot. Because bonsais have been handed down from generation to generation, some of them may cost more than ten million yen! The sample of a 'Bonsai' on display at an alcove in the picture, against the backdrop of a hanging picture scroll of a rising sun, realises a image of landscape in a small space of Japanese room.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:11 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年04月13日

A Yoroi and Kabuto, that is a helmet and armor , had taken form as a thing to give the authority or accessory for the high-ranking samurai warriors.

yoroi.jpg

Since olden high-ranking warriors in Japan fought one-to-one battle after introducing themselves to each other, a helmet and armor of Japan had developed with being placed great importance upon the showy appearance rather than the practical use. In the country, instead of a firm and practical armor, decorative one made up of leather, a piece of metal and a cloth had taken root in that a Japanese soldier was rather smaller built. This type of armor was not effective against a spear and matchlock but worked well against a Katana sword.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:58 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年03月30日

An "Ukiyo-e," painted by many renowned artists such as "Utamaro," "Hokusai" and "Hiroshige," is a genre painting a woodblock print loved by the general public from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

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An "Ukiyo-e," literally a contemporary genre painting, represents a variety of daily life in Edo, present Tokyo. As of in the early Edo period in the 17th century, an "Ukiyo-e" was mainly a hand painted picture, however, after the invention of the multicolored printing method in the middle of the Edo period, it arrived at the popularization among the ordinary citizens thanks to inexpensiveness. A Kabuki actor, a beautiful woman and a scenic spot are chosen as a subject matter. The "Ukiyo-e" in the picture is a masterpiece of famed "Utamaro." After his era, in the days of the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, many Ukiyo-es flowed out to Europe and the US., for being used as a wrapping paper of the pottery of export. Consequently, they are very highly valued by the masters of the impressionist school such as van Gogh and Manet. Japan's Ukiyo-e finally had a great influence on the Paris Impressionists.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:13 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする