Japanese Picture Scrolls

Japanese Picture Scrolls

Japanese Picture Scrolls

Japanese Picture Scrolls

Excerpt

Japan seems to possess a special talent for preserving and continuing art forms that have long become extinct in other countries. This can be seen, for example, in the case of the ancient court music of gagaku, in architectural details, and in various arts associated with Zen Buddhism. It is also true of the method of writing and illustrating books in the form of long scrolls. This type of book, long considered archaic or extinct in most parts of the world, has in Japan also declined in popularity after its "golden age" during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but it has never been allowed to die out completely. Not only are hundreds of such scroll books meticulously preserved in national and private collections, but to this day some artists still try their hand at reproducing new forms of this very ancient art.

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