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Flashcards in Japanese Art before 1392 Deck (32):

How were haniwa used?

-ceramic sculpture
-link between world of dead and world of living (probably)
-placed on top of the artificial hills that marked tombs.


What forms might haniwa take?

-originally cylinders that held ceremonial offerings
-In the fifth century CE, made in the shapes of ceremonial objects, houses and boats
-living creatures gradually became part of the repertoire of shapes.
-sixth century, haniwa made in the shape of humans, males and females, of many different professions and classes.


How is the Inner Shrine at Ise both old and new?

The Inner Shrine at Ise is both old and new because it is ceremonially rebuilt every twenty years. This tradition has been carried on for almost 2000 years, since the original shrine was built. Although the actual materials that make up the shrine are relatively new, the architecture of the shrine, the temple that it is a part of, and the idea that it represents are very old.


What is Haniwa?

Haniwa are ceramic works of sculpture placed on top of burial mounds. At first they were simple cylinders, but evolved to have more forms, like ceremonial houses, boats, later on, animals, and even later, people. They were left unglazed to leave their clay bodies, and forms weren’t perfect, sometimes being asymmetrical or little to no detail, showing they weren’t concerned with the aesthetics of the piece.


What are Kami and how do they fit into the Shinto belief system?

Kami are deities that were thought to inhabit things in the ordinary world that were considered to be more magnificent than other things of the same nature such as a beautiful rock, waterfall, ree, or living creature. They played a major role in the Shinto belief system as they were worshipped through shrines, a hierarchy of deities, and strictly regulated ceremonies.


Horyu-ji is the oldest what?

Wooden temple


Why would Horyu-ji help us to understand Han dynasty architecture?

Because what we can tell from Han dynasty architecture, both had very similar styles, so Horyu-ji may have been influenced by Han dynasty architecture as it was built after the dynasty ended. Japan was also taking in a lot of external influences, making it not so hard to believe they would adopt Han styles.


Describe the Phoenix Hall.

Also known as the Byodo-in, the Phoenix Hall temple was originally built as a secular palace of Amida in the Western paradise, built for the family of a royal counselor, Fujiwara. After the counselor died in 1052, it was converted to a temple. It is often called the Phoenix Hall due to the two phoenixes on its roof, and the phoenix-like graceful shape of the building itself. The thin columns and roofs with upturned corners give the Byodo-in a sense of airiness. The hall rests gently in front of an artificial sanskrit letter A, for Amida.


What is meant by the jointed-wood sculpture method?

The work was not constructed in one piece but in multiple joined pieces of wood. A single thick piece of wood can swell and shrink at different rates externally and internally, causing it to crack. Wood with a thinner cross-section is less likely to fracture. In joined-wood technique, the statue is divided into sections and done separately by artists who specialize in their portions of wood sculpture, such as hands or crossed legs, and then reassembled into a work that is larger than what would be possible with a single piece of wood.


Describe the style called “ women’s hand” using the Scene from The Tale of Genji as an example.

The style is characterized by delicate lines with bold colors. Other characteristics include asymmetrical compositions from a birds eye view through invisible rooftops. In the painting from the Tale of the Genji, show court figures in some kind of building, which is common in women hand style paintings. Emotions are not displayed on the faces, but are simple lines augmented with color and poses.


How does Monk Sewing show the spirit of a movement within Buddhism?

The compressed expression of the monk’s face draws the viewer’s attention to his eyes which then moves their gaze downwards towards the monk’s needle. Throguh drawing the viewers atteniton to the needle rather than having them focus on the art peice as a whole, the painting portrays the feeling of intensity that the monk’s held to their daily activities. This intensity was necessary for them as they believed that enlightenment was reached throguh their simple lives.


"Flame Ware" Vessel

2500-1500 BCE, Jomon period.
Jomon pots have pointed bottoms, used for cooking. Built from coils of clay, and incised. Became artistically creative and flamboyant.


Jomon Period

11,000-400 BCE. Named after "cord markings", which they made in their clay. Small hunter gatherer communities.



Jomon Period, 2500-1500 BCE. Earthenware.
Dogu have large faces and small hands, in fascinating shapes. Perhaps were effigies for sympathetic magic. (Like transferring unhappiness into it and breaking it)


Yayoi and Kofun Periods

Yayoi: 400 bce -300 ce
Kofun: 300 ce - 552 ce
More centralized government, permanent agricultural settlements. Haniwa used.


The Ise Shrine

Shinto monument. Dedicated to sun-godess Amaterasu-o-mi-kami.
Typical Shinto Architecture:
- Wood piles lifting base
- thatched roof held by horizontal logs
- unpainted wood, simplicity > extravagance.


Asuka Period

552-645 CE.
MAJOR change, new philosphy, meds, music, food, clothing.
Mahayana Buddhism became new state religion (Shinto still accepted and popular)


Horyu-Ji Temple

607 CE. Asuka Period.
Founded by Prince Shotoku.
Oldest Wooden Temple in the World.
Rectangular courtyard with Kondo (Golden Hall) for ceremonies, and 5 story Pagoda as an off-limits reliquary.


Hungry Tigress Jataka

650 CE. at Horyu-Ji Temple, Asuka Period.
- Illustrates Jataka tale of buddha sacrificing himself to starving tigress and cubs.
- Elegant slender figure and abstract cliff represent international Buddhist style.


Skaka Triad in the Kondo

623 CE. at Horyu-Ji Temple, Asuka Period.
By Tori Busshi, Immigrant to Japan.
Frontal pose, outsized face and hands show Chinese/Korean influence in work.
International Buddhist style.


Nara Period

645 - 794 CE
Nara = first permanent imperial capital.
Stronger government, population growth.


Amida Buddha (Horyu-ji)

-Nara period, 710
-ink and colors (severely damaged)
-mural in kondo at Horyu-ji
-round body, fully fleshed and serene face
-hands form dharmachakra mudra ("revealing the Buddhist law")
-more realistic and body has more weight than Asuka period
-Indian influence in draping, East Asian influence in shape and spirit


Heian Period

794-1185 CE
-fully absorbed Korean and Chinese influences
-generally peaceful and self reliant government
-efficient method of writing established, rise of vernacular literature
-major religious sects: Esoteric Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism


Womb World Mandala

-Heian period, late 9th century
-colors on silk, hanging scroll
-filled with descriptions of gods
-Dainichi at center, surrounded by buddhas of four directions
-other deities branch out in specific order each with specific symbol of power
-represents ultimate reality beyond visible world


Pure Land Buddhism

Buddhism based on pure faith, rather than rituals.


Amida Buddha (Byodo-In)

-Jocho, Heian period, 1053
-gold leaf and lacquer on wood
-Buddha sits on lotus throne with big delicately carved leaf shaped thing behind him
-gold leaf reflects in pond around it, making everything shimmer
-joined-wood method
-smaller bodhisattvas and angels suround Buddha


Frolicking Animals

-Toba Sojo, Heian period, 12th century
-ink on paper, handscroll
-satirizes life of different levels of society
-frog boasting while he throws rabbit to the ground, other frogs laughing


Kamakura Period

1185-1392 CE
samurai became real power in Japan


Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace

-Kamakura period, Late 13th century, handscroll on paper.
-Shows battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans. The soldiers were mounted and armored warriors, who used both bow and arrows and the finest swords. This was painted perhaps 100 years after the actual event, and so conveys a sense of eyewitness reporting through verbal descriptions. The style includes some of the brisk and lively linework of Frolicking Animals and also traces of the more refined brushwork, use of color, and bird’s-eye viewpoint of The Tale of Genji scroll.


Monk Sewing

-Kao Ninga, Kamakura period, early 14th century
-ink on paper
-monk sewing his robe, really focused looking
-blunt style, strong sense of focus
-shows responsibility to oneself and a life of simplicity (ideals of Zen Buddhism)


Kuya Preaching

-Kosho, Kamakura period, before 1207
-painted wood with inlaid eyes
-portrait of Kuya, who would wander through the countryside singing and spreading Buddhism
-traveling clothes, small gong, staff topped with deer horns (symbolizing the deer he killed that converted him to Buddhism)
-6 Buddhas coming from mouth to symbolize 6 syllables of his chant (Pure Land chant)
-naturalistic style


Descent of Amida and the 25 Bodhisattvas

-Kamakura period, 13th century
-colors and gold on silk
-Amida Buddha and 25 bodhisattvas descending over mountains
-gold paint and leaf suggest radiance of their clothes, heightened by dark silk