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Unformatted text preview: e blocks of wood, a fact
that helps account for their general smallness. They were also left either
entirely unpainted or with only the lips and eyes tinted in order not to
seal off the natural fragrance of the wood.
An excellent example of Jògan sculpture in wood is the statue of the
healing buddha, Yakushi, at the Jingoji in Kyoto. The rigid stance and
stylized clothing of the buddha may appear to signify a reversion to an
earlier, less sophisticated method of sculpture. But in fact they reflect
the wish, in line with esoteric tastes, to produce figures that were unearthly and mysterious. The statue’s facial expression is grim and forbidding, and its body is much heavier and more gross-looking than the typical Tempyò image. The “wave” pattern of its draperies is characteristic
of Jògan sculpture and can be seen even more sharply delineated in the
seated image of the historical buddha at the Muròji.
Apart from the mandalas, virtually the only paintings extant from the
Jògan epoch are representations of ferocious and hideous creatures such
as Fudò, “the immovable.” These creatures, some of which have multiple
heads and arms, were in reality the cosmic buddha, Dainichi, in altered
forms, and their job was to frighten and destroy the enemies of Buddhism. Fudò is usually shown with a flaming body halo, a sword in one
hand and a rope in the other.
Esoteric iconography inspired some Jògan artists to attempt the first
plastic representations of the deities of Shinto. Several of these kami figures still remain, but there is little to indicate that any real impetus was
given at this time to evolve a new form of Shinto art.
The court of the early ninth century was outwardly perhaps even more
enamored of Chinese civilization than its predecessor at Nara a century
earlier. Chinese poetry was in particular the rage among Emperor Saga
(reigned 809–23) and his intimates, who held competitions in Chinese
versemanship, compiled anthologies in the manner of the Kaifûsò, and
virtually ignored the waka. It was also during Saga’s reign that Kûka...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.
- Spring '13