Department: Art History

Post Date: May 11, 2020

News Details

This course is an introduction to and exploration of the Buddhist arts and visual cultures of Japan. We begin with sculptures from around the early 7th century onward, and move through the courtly works of the 8th to 12th centuries. These include mandalas; Pure Land works; sutras on intricate hand-scrolls; reliquaries; narrative paintings that unrolled to reveal tales of Buddhist sites and their occupants; and early caricature. We will learn how sculpture and painting developed under a new military rule between the 12th to 16th centuries: powerful and realistic portrayals of Buddhist divinities and masters co-existed with Zen aesthetics in ink-painting, tea utensils, and amusing sketches of Zen eccentrics. Art that fused Buddhism with the worship of (“Shinto”) kami deities often linked with nature also flourished, and an entirely syncretic astrological art utilized by Buddhist monks emerged. The 18th century with its woodblock-print boom brought humor and erotica into Buddhism, and in the modern period and present day, manga artists such as Tezuka Osamu, Nakamura Hikaru, and paintersculptors Matsui Fuyuko and Murakami Takashi investigate Buddhist aesthetics and themes in compelling ways. FALL 2020 EAS 116: JAPANESE BUDDHIST ARTS AND VISUAL CULTURES

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