Haga kshir defines wabi as comprising three kinds of

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Unformatted text preview: commemorate the crucial role of trade in the rebuilding of the capital after the devastation of the Ònin War. Many other pictures on the theme of “Views Inside and Outside Kyoto,” including a particularly detailed one by Kanò Eitoku, were produced during the following two centuries. In addition to their artistic merits, these pictures are invaluable records of the changing features of the ancient capital in an age (at least until 1600) when it was more than ever the vital administrative as well as cultural center of the country (fig. 46) With the coming of the Momoyama epoch and the general reestablishment of tranquility in the land, genre artists turned increasingly to studies of people at leisure and in the pursuit of pleasure rather than engaged simply in daily chores or as members of a passing scene (as in the pictures of “Views Inside and Outside Kyoto”). Among the great variety of subjects shown in genre works of the Momoyama epoch are picnics, flower-viewing excursions, festivals, horse races, dancing, actors of the popular theatre (kabuki), and women of the pleasure quarters. Of these, the kabuki actors and courtesans came especially to attract the attention of artists of the seventeenth-century urban scene, a clear indication of the emergence among them of what may be called a spirit of bourgeois or popular humanism. Fig. 46 Screen of “Views Inside and Outside Kyoto” (courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, Gift of W W Hoffman) .. The Country Unified 159 Changing techniques in the handling of subjects also indicated the growing humanistic concerns of genre artists of this age. From distant, elevated perspectives that encompassed wide vistas and often huge throngs of people, they gradually shifted to intimate portrayals of small groups of men and women—or even of single individuals—viewed directly from close range. Moreover, by eliminating settings entirely and using stark gold-leaf backgrounds, these late Momoyama and early Tokugawa period genre artists presented their subjects, most of whom were denizens of the demimonde, as directly and candidly as possible. Although it differs from many of the others, which are frankly erotic,...
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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.

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