ASIA212Varley

One notable product of the mixing of music in early

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Unformatted text preview: tive work in these years that Fenollosa and others were able to buy up at very low prices the vast number of art pieces that still constitute the core of many major Japanese collections in foreign museums today. Fenollosa gave lectures to private groups in Japan extolling the glories of Japanese art and even pronouncing it to be superior to the art of the West. He and Okakura also founded a Society for the Appreciation of Painting (Kangakai) and urged the Meiji government to sponsor training in the native artistic styles. Two results of their lobbying were the discontinuance of the Western-oriented Industrial Art School in 1883 and the substitution of brush painting for pencil drawing in public school art courses. But the greatest achievement of Fenollosa and Okakura was their role in the creation in 1889 of the government-backed Tokyo Art School (Tòkyò Bijutsu Gakkò), devoted exclusively to training in Far Eastern art. In 1886–87, Fenollosa and Okakura had traveled to Europe to study methods of art education and museum administration, and within a few years after their return, Okakura became head of the Tokyo Art School. Of these two dynamic men who led the return to Japanese art in the 1880s, Fenollosa was by far the more inflexible. A transparent Japanophile so far as art was concerned, he also sought to impose on others his personal biases within the realm of Japanese art. For example, while he admired the Kanò school of painting, he viewed with distaste the literati movement of the middle and late Tokugawa period. Largely because of this preference on the part of a foreigner, it appears, no study of the bunjin painters was included in the curriculum of the Tokyo Art School. Okakura, on the other hand, was very similar in sentiment to a number of his contemporaries who have been noted in this chapter, including the “national essence” intellectuals, the novelist Ozaki Kòyò, and the haikutanka poet Masaoka Shiki. All of these men were participants in the Japanist reaction of the 1880s and 1890s; and, although not all of them may have succeeded very well in their aim...
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