NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/8/4


本阿弥光悦 Honami-kouetsu Hon’ami Koetsu

Jp En

Hon’ami Koetsu was a calligrapher and artist in the early Edo period. He was also well known as the leading tea master of the time.
Hon’ami Koetsu was born into a family of swordsmiths who created and sharpened swords in Kyoto. He showed talent in a wide range of fields including calligraphy, pottery, lacquer, publishing, architecture and landscape design.
He especially excelled in calligraphy and, along with Konoe Nobutada and Shokodo Shojo, he came to be known as one of the Three Brushes of the Kan’ei Era (Kan’ei no Sanpitsu) . He founded his own personal style known as Koetsu-ryu, developed from the Japanese calligraphy style.
Hon’ami is also credited with founding the Rimpa School in the field of painting, together with Tawaraya Sotasu and Ogata Korin. His works include Rakuyaki Kamigawa-chawan ceramic teacups and Funabashi Makie Suzuribako lacquer work- both of which are designated as National Treasures, and Tsurushitae-wakakan painting, designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
In 1615, Hon’ami began an artist community called Koetsu-mura or Koetsu village in Takagamine, north of Kyoto, in the land granted by Tokugawa Ieyasu. He developed his own artistic style further and was also believed to have supervised all the work there.
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2008/2/7


ラルフ・キゲル Ralph Kiggell Ralph Kiggell

Jp En

Ralph Kiggell is a British artist who was born in Zambia in 1960. He is a woodblock printer, whose work is strongly influenced by East Asia.

Since he was a child, he had always been interested in Japanese woodblock prints. Works by masters such as HOkusai and Utamaro could be seen periodically in special exhibitions at the British Museum in London.

In 1990, Ralph Kiggell came to Japan to study woodblock printing. He first studied at the Yoshida Hanga Academy in Tokyo under Tsukasa Yoshida, the son of Toshi Yoshida, and the grandson of Hiroshi Yoshida. Later, he learned contemporary woodblock printing techniques at Kyoto Seika University and at Tokyo’s Tama Art University.

Kiggell enjoys the sensitivity of Japanese woodblock printing, because the whole process is carried out by hand using hand-made and natural materials. There is an organic connection from hand to wood to paper. Kiggell thinks that in the digital age that we live in, woodblock printing has particular resonance as an important medium for contemporary artistic expression.
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2007/5/31


松屋寺雪舟庭 Syouoku-ji-Sessyuutei Sesshu Garden at Sho'okuji Temple

Jp En

The Sesshu Garden at Sho'okuji Temple in Sao, Hiji, Hayami County, Oita Prefecture, was reputedly built by the famous Zen monk and artist Sesshu.

Sho'okuji Temple belonged to the Kinoshita family, who were the Hiji domain heads. This family continued for 16 generations and there are more than 40 gravestones at the temple, including that of Asahi-no-kata, mother of Kita-no-Mandokoro.

The temple garden includes the Manryu Garden, which Sesshu is also reputed to have built, and which contains the largest cycad in Japan, designated as a national natural treasure.

After his return from Ming China in the first year of the Bunmei period (1469), Sesshu set up his studio somewhere around Oita. He later moved to Yamaguchi, then Shimane, and so on. His fame has never diminished and even today, he continues to be admired as a god of painting.

Sesshu Garden features a nearby mountain as a 'borrowed landscape' and has a pond shaped like the Chinese character '心' for 'heart'. Sesshu's artistry and sensibility continue to astonish us today.
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2007/1/25


夢二生家 Yumeji-seika The Birthplace of Yumeji Takehisa

Jp En

The Yumeji Local Art Museum Branch, located in Setonai, Okayama Prefecture, commemorates the birthplace of Yumeji Takehisa, who lived here until the age of 16.

Yumeji Takehisa was a lyrical and roving artist/poet whose work is representative of the Taisho Romantic style. Yumeji was born in 1884 (Meiji 17) in the town of Oku. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers, this environment must lie at the roots of Yumeji's art.

The Yumeji museum exhibits Yumeji's sketches and block prints. Near the window are drawing marks he made for his beloved sister who had married. There is a monument at the museum entrance with the words, 'Takehisa Yumeji was born here' by Ikuma Arishima, one of Yumeji's best supporters. Next door, there is a recreation of Yumeji's studio, designed by him and now called the Yumeji Youth Lodge. Yumeji fans should definitely pay a visit to the poet's birthplace.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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