The Landscape Painting of China and Japan

By Hugo Munsterberg | Go to book overview

10
The Beginnings of Landscape
Painting in Japan

A love of nature has, from the earliest times, been one of the outstanding characteristics of the Japanese people. Their native religion is little more than a worship of the spirits of nature, for in Shintoism the whole of creation is believed to be inhabited by multitudes of kami, or gods. The greatest of these was the Sun Goddess, whose shrine at Ise is still one of the most venerated in Japan, but mountains and rivers, trees and flowers, earth and stones were all thought to have their spirits. This belief in an animate world was certainly one of the factors in the development of the love of nature, and another was the beauty of the islands, which for centuries painters and poets have celebrate in their art. The Manyōshū, the famous collection of poetry from the Nara period, contains a number of lyrics which express the deep intimacy between man and nature, one of which, written by Ōtomo Yakamochi in A.D. 747, is as follows:

In the land of Koshi
Famous among the distant regions,
Many are the mountains
And countless rivers run,

-81-

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The Landscape Painting of China and Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • About the Author *
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Note viii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Plates xi
  • The Landscape Painting of China 1
  • 1 - The Spirit of Chinese Landscape Painting 3
  • 2 - The Beginnings of Chinese Landscape Painting 13
  • 3 - The T'Ang Period 19
  • 4 - The Fire Dynasties and Early Sung Periods 31
  • 5 - The Northern Sung Period 43
  • 6 - The Southern Sung Period 51
  • 7 - The Yüan Period 59
  • 8 - The Ming Period 65
  • 9 - The Ch'Ing Period 73
  • The Landscape Painting of Japan 79
  • 10 - The Beginnings of Landscape Painting in Japan 81
  • 11 - The Heian and Kamakura Periods 87
  • 12 - The Muromachi Period 95
  • 13 - The Momoyama Period 105
  • 14 - The Edo Period 111
  • 15 - Landscape Painters of the Ukiyo-E School 121
  • Notes 129
  • Bibliography 135
  • Index 139
  • Plates 145
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