About Japan Kaleidoskop

Marion Laurinat, author of Japan Kaleidoskop, writer and translator, doctor's degree in Japanese Studies

Art on Tuesday: Clearing Weather

This picture is called: Awazu seiran 粟津 晴嵐 Mountain vapor of Awazu. From the series Eight Views of Ômi 近江八景. It is made by Kitao Masayoshi 北尾 政美, also known as Kuwagata Keisai 鍬形蕙斎 (1764-1824).

The inscription of the poem is given here at the website of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Art on Tuesday: Landscape

Totoya Hokkei 魚屋 北渓 (1780–1850) painted this picture in 1827. His ukiyo-e are often combined with poems as he illustrated several books. He is well-known as an excellent pupil of Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎.

Art on Tuesday: Lucky Dream

This ukiyo-e made by Totoya Hokkei 魚屋 北渓 (1780-1850) is one of three pictures of a series. This one is called: First Dream of Mount Fuji in a Set of Three 初夢三番 富士.

Hatsuyume (初夢) means the first dream in the first night of a new year, which is foreseeing the future of the coming year. According to the traditional Japanese calendar January 2 is therefore named hatsuyume. Mount Fuji is always a symbol of good luck.  

You can find a Japanese inscription of the poem at the website of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Art on Tuesday: Makeup

Kobayakawa Kiyoshi 小早 川清 (1897-1948) painted this Japanese woman.  The Japanese artist produced several pictures of women in daily situations. This one shows a woman applying her makeup. It is a very beautiful and graceful scene. The woodblock print is the second of his ukiyo-e series called: Fashions of the Modern World. Makeup. 近代時世粧ノ内  二 化粧 . As written in the subtitle of the picture. 

Source: Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Art on Tuesday: Dance of the Floating World

This woodblock print shows the “Kashima Dance of the Floating World” 鹿島浮世踊 made by Kitao Shigemasa 北尾重政 (1739-1820), published in the 1760’s. It shows a ritual dance, performed by several dancers in a circle or a square carrying instruments like cymbals, drums, sticks and paper fans.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts

Art on Tuesday: The Jewel River of Bush Clover

Utagawa Toyoharu 歌川豊春 (c. 1735-1814) painted a series of ukiyo-e called The Fashionable Six Jewel Rivers 風流六玉川. This one is showing the Jewel River of Bush Clover 萩 in Yamashiro, a historical province located in today’s south of Kyôto. These jewel rivers or crystal rivers were painted by ukiyo-e artists often. You clearly see an influence of Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木 春信 (c. 1725-1770) in the style of this woodblock print.

Source: MFA Boston

Art on Tuesday: Leisure in the Floating World

Ukiyo-e by Torii Kiyonobu I 鳥居 清信 (1664–1729) painted around 1720. He is one of the founders of the Torii-school of painting and known for his Kabuki related motifs. This picture is named: 浮世つれずれ. Two women of the pleasure quarters are reading in their leisure time.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Art on Tuesday: Water Lilies

Water lilies painted by Ohara Koson 小原 古邨 (1877-1945) ca. 1920. Ohara is known for his woodblock paintings often showing birds, fishes, trees, flowers and landscape motifs in different variations. He made several pictures of lotus and water lilies, which are very beautiful. Look at Art on Tuesday: Lotus.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Art on Tuesday: Naruto Whirlpools

This very famous ukiyo-e made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) is called Naruto Whirlpools in the Awa Province (1855). Naruto is located at the Shikoku coast. The Naruto whirlpools 鳴門の渦潮 are a natural phenomenon, which can be watched even today. Utagawa Hiroshige painted another very similar ukiyo-e with wave motifs shown on Japan Kaleidoskop on August 2013.  It is a View of Mount Fuji at Suruga Beach on the Pacific coast of Honshû.

Art on Tuesday: Arashima

A Panoramic View of Arashiyama from the Triple Teahouse 嵐山三軒家より眺望 by Hasegawa Sadanobu 長谷川貞信 I painted in 1870/71 as a part of his series Famous Places in the Capital. Arashima is located in western Kyôto. You see a green rural landscape with a calm atmosphere. In the center the lake with two boats, on the right the teahouse mentioned in the title. On the left Arashima’s hillside. At the beach are some cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Arashima is a nice place to visit.