Art On Tuesday: The Golden Pavillon in Kyôto

woodblockprint Kinkakuji Hasegawa Sadanobu I

This ukiyo-e shows a snow scene with the famous Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺, the Golden Pavillon in Kyôto. The picture was made by Hasegawa Sadanobu I (1809-1879) around 1870. The temple was build in the 14th century, and it is located in the northwest of the former capital. In the background you see the mountains. On the right side is the beautiful Kyōkochi lake 鏡湖池 which mirrors the Golden Pavillon. The temple was rebuild several times. In 1950, it was set on fire by a novice monk and reconstructed. Today Kinkaku-ji belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage.

 

Art on Tuesday: Winter Scene in Kyôto

It is still winter.
This woodblock print shows a scene of the old Japanese capital Kyôto. It was made by the ukiyo-e painter Hasegawa Sadanobu who painted a series of famous places of the city.
The name of the picture is ’Nawate-street and Yamato-bridge seen from the Shijo-bridge’ in 1858. The Shijo-bridge leads over the Kamo-river, here it is still in part icy, but with small water streams. The four people in the front are wearing umbrellas against the snowfall. They are dressed in warm layered kimonos and their shoes are called geta. They are made of wood. In the background you see Japanese houses snow capped with the Yamato-bridge at the center.

International Ninja Day

Today is the ‘International Ninja Day’. Ninja 忍者 were covert agents or mercenaries. Most people know them from fiction and movies. Utagawa Kunisada 歌川 国貞 (1786-1865) painted a scene of a ninja on a Kabuki stage about 1830.

If you are interested in ninja and their history you will find a comprehensive article on the English website of wikipedia. See also an article about famous ninjas at https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-ninjas-195587 and about the allegation that maybe everything you know about ninjas is wrong at https://kotaku.com/all-you-know-about-ninja-is-probably-wrong-5932403.

Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan 勤労感謝の日

Today is Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan 勤労感謝の日 (kinrō kansha no hi). The national holiday was established in 1948. Each year on November 23rd this day is dedicated for celebration and honoring work and production, also to give thanks to one another.

It is traditionally connected with the Niiname-sai Festival of Food 新嘗祭 which is a harvest festival based on Shintô rituals. On this day the tennô is offering the newly harvested rice to the kami in order to pray for a good harvest in the following year. He is eating the first rice together with the kami in a ceremony held in the Imperial Household.

The picture above is an ukiyo-e of Hiroshige (1797-1858). A Path through Rice Fields at Ōmori on the Tōkaidō Road 東海道大森縄手.

Art on Tuesday: Tama River

‘Autumn Moon on the Tama River’ 多摩川秋月 is part of Utagawa Hiroshige’s series ‘Eight Views in the Environs of Edo’ 江戸近郊八景之内 made around 1837/38. It depicts the  beautiful atmosphere of early autumn.

The Tama River flows through Tokyo and is the border of Kanagawa. A main river of Japan with a lenght of ca. 138 km. The river is very popular among inhabitants of the area and tourists because of the beauty of the landscape. Many people enjoy a walk or a picnic at the shore.

Katsushika Hokusai  shows the Tama River in his series the ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūrokkei). The title is called ‘Tama River in Musashi Province’ 武州玉川 painted in 1830 to 1832.