ASIA212Varley

Such works as the genji screen are particularly

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Unformatted text preview: e of Masanobu in the late fifteenth century, the Kanò artists had served the successive military rulers of Japan—the Ashikaga, Nobunaga, and Hideyoshi—and shortly after the founding of the Tokugawa shogunate they entered into the employ of the country’s new warrior chieftains in Edo. Kanò Eitoku’s son, Mitsunobu (1565–1608), who had assisted his father in the decoration of Nobunaga’s castle at Azuchi and later did much work for Hideyoshi, was in his later years summoned by Ieyasu to decorate the Tokugawa castle in Edo. But the true founder or “restorer” of the Kanò as the official school of shogunal painters in the Tokugawa era was Eitoku’s grandson, Tan’yû (1602–74), who moved permanently to Edo in 1614. In time, there came to be four major and twelve minor branches of the Kanò engaged on a stipendiary basis by the shogunate. Moreover, many other bearers of the Kanò name were employed by daimyos as their official han artists. The various Kanò schoolmen thus secured a virtual monopoly of the appointments open to painters among the new Tokugawa military elite. Anxious to please their masters—who were strongly imbued with Confucian moralism—and reluctant to innovate, the Kanò artists after Tan’yû produced little work of real distinction. On the contrary, the best painting of the Tokugawa period was done by others. The outstanding artist of the early seventeenth century and one of 174 The Flourishing of a Bourgeois Culture Fig. 49 Poem scroll by Sòtatsu and Kòetsu (Seattle Art Museum) the finest painters in all of Japanese history was Tawaraya Sòtatsu (d. 1643), a man of merchant stock who drew his inspiration from the ancient cultural tradition of the imperial court. Although we know almost nothing about Sòtatsu’s personal life, we can deduce some of the influences that worked upon him from his close association with another distinguished craftsman and artist of the age, Hon’ami Kòetsu (1558– 1637). Kòetsu, the son of a Kyoto merchant family that dealt in fine swords, was a person of many skills, including the tea ceremony, the making and adornment of pottery...
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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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