Appreciating Nature through Gardening

Posts tagged “screens

Tokyo National Museum

I encountered this “Monster Lantern” (20’ tall) while passing through Ueno Park on my way to the Tokyo National Museum. Typhoon Chaba was lashing the city and temperatures hovered around 50 F.   Wearing gloves and trying to keep my umbrella from turning out kept me from taking many photos outside.  I was wet to the knees and looked quite a fright – sensible people would have taken a taxi…

I studied Japanese Art twenty-five years ago — my recall is fuzzy beyond basic time lines.  Consequently, I’ve included links to sites that offer excellent descriptions for any who are interested.  The earliest artifacts included Jomon pottery.

An extravagant and lively piece (3000-2000 B.C.E.)

A solid contrast to the first work — the figure looks pained.

Dogu (3000-2000 B.C.E.) — an expressive form and almost feline face.

A gallery devoted to the history of Buddhism in Japan was represented by stunning sculptures.

A handsome figure of the Kushan dynasty (India, 2nd-3rd c.)

A monumental fragment smiles benignly.

A quintessentially Japanese  art form, paintings on screens address both practical and aesthetic needs. While the styles changed over the centuries to reflect the taste of patrons,  portrayals of the natural world dominated from delicate monochromatic landscapes to bold gilded images.

Autumn and Winter Landscapes by Sesshu Toyo, 15th c.

The Samurai culture Medieval Japan inspired amazing craftsmanship.

A finely embroidered kimono recalls Tsutenkyo in Koishikawa Korakuen.

While the objects on display were wonderful, and represented the highlights of Japanese art, the galleries struck me as rather sparse — two hours was plenty of time to squish through in soaked shoes.  Next stop, the Tokyo Edo Museum.