By Elizabeth Lillehoj, Laura Allen

Within the West, classical artwork - inextricably associated with matters of a ruling or dominant category - usually refers to paintings with conventional subject matters and types that resurrect a earlier golden period. even if artwork of the early Edo interval (1600-1868) contains a spectrum of subject matters and types, references to the previous are so universal that many jap paintings historians have variously defined this era as a "classical revival," "era of classicism," or a "renaissance." How did seventeenth-century artists and consumers think the previous? Why did they so frequently decide upon kinds and topics from the courtroom tradition of the Heian interval (794-1185)? have been references to the prior whatever new, or have been artists and buyers in past classes both attracted to manners that got here to be noticeable as classical? How did classical manners relate to different kinds and subject matters present in Edo paintings? In contemplating such questions, the individuals to this quantity carry that classicism has been an amorphous, altering suggestion in Japan - simply as within the West. problematical in its ambiguity and implications, it can't be separated from the political and ideological pursuits of these who've hired it through the years. the fashionable writers who first pointed out Edo artwork as classical Western notions of canonicity and cultural authority, contributing to the discovery of a undying, unchanging proposal of jap tradition that had direct ties to the emergence of a contemporary nationwide identification. The authors of the essays accumulated listed below are under no circumstances unanimous of their overview of using the label "classicism." a number of reject it, arguing that it distorts our belief of the methods early Edo artists and audiences considered paintings. nonetheless others are happy with the time period generally outlined as "uses of" or "the authority of assorted pasts." even if they might not agree on a definition of classicism and its applicability to seventeenth-century jap artwork, all realize the relevance of modern scholarly currents that decision into query tools that privilege Western tradition. Their quite a few methods - from stylistic research and theoretical conceptualization to review of similar political and literary developments - vastly bring up our knowing of the artwork of the interval and its functionality in society

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Phillips, “Honch≤ Gashi and the Kano Myth,” Archives of Asian Art 67 (1994):46–57. 32. Kihara Toshie, “The Search for Profound Delicacy: The Art of Kano Tan’y≥,” in Miyeko Murase and Judith G. , The Arts of Japan: An International Symposium (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000), 91. 33. Herbert Plutschow, Matsuri: The Festivals of Japan (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1996), 32–33. Introduction 19 Chapter One Melanie Trede Terminology and Ideology: Coming to Terms with “Classicism” in Japanese Art-Historical Writing The very title of this book, Critical Perspectives on Classicism in Japanese Painting, 1600 – 1700, and the assembled chapters—all of which refer to the seemingly familiar Western concept of classicism—compel us to pose a set of questions.

F. G. Notehelfer has observed that Okakura presented an “artistic counterattack against the West” in his Ideals of the East. See Notehelfer, “On Idealism and Realism in the Thought of Okakura Tenshin,” Journal of Japanese Studies 16(2) (1990):333. 13. , Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), 11–12. 14. See Kuroda Toshio, “Ch≥sei ni okeru kenmitsu taisei no tenkai,” in Kuroda Toshio chosakush≥, vol. 2 (Kyoto: H≤s≤kan, 1994).

Matsudaira Sadanobu (1758 – 1829), who had served as chief counselor to the shogun since 1787 and regent since 1788, ordered the painter Tani Bunch≤ (1763–1840) and others to compile the “Ten Types of Collected Antiquities” (Sh≥ko jisshu), an encyclopedic project including exact drawings of some two thousand antique treasures kept around the Japanese states. 57 In 1790, nine years before the publication of Humble Words, Motoori Norinaga labored to prove the superiority of Japanese cultural traditions over other ethnic and national legacies in his extensive study of the Kojiki of 712, the earliest historical account of Japan.

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