A brief appreciation of classical Japanese art

By Jeff Jenkins

Konnichiwa minasan!

Today’s blog will be about my new favorite thing that I’ve come to love and appreciate about the Japanese culture. – that being the classical/old Japanese art, including the literature often written with it. A few days ago, I and a small group from my Japanese class visited the Utamaro exhibit at the Sackler Museum. We could gaze at his original artworks and see how art was portrayed during his time.

There’s something about the level of detail and delicacy put into each piece of work that you can’t find often in modern day art. Just by looking at some of the older Japanese murals you can truly see the amount of patience and integrity that the artist used to put into his work before displaying it to the public. Also, the different writing styles were unique in the sense that each character was written together to flow like a stream. Though it was difficult to make out what some of the characters meant, it was still cool to try and read some of them, which I did manage a few times.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was the craze for Japanese art back in the 1800’s, which ended up spreading across most of Europe, but mainly in France.  Like how people have a craze for Japanese anime which is still very popular until today, I just find it very interesting that things that come out of Japan usually have a massive impact on the outside world, whether it’s through art, technology or entertainment.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this short blog and sorry for not including any personal pictures (we couldn’t take any inside of the exhibit).

If you’re curious, here’s a link to the exhibition: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/utamaro/default.php

Till next time! (Mata ne)

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