Japan art and the paths of Shintoism and Buddhism: Holy men in the snow without Abraham

Japan art and the paths of Shintoism and Buddhism: Holy men in the snow without Abraham

 

In the second part of Sawako Utsumi’s art that focuses on Buddhist and Shinto holy men in the snow, the contemporary Japanese artist once more works a treat. Of course, the art itself provides a lovely backdrop into the interrelationship between Buddhism and Shintoism that seems to flow naturally. Equally, the nuance of simplicity belies the shocking truth of how Buddhism was erased despite the mountains of Afghanistan and in other parts of the world.

Hence, the twin forces of religious imperialism and domination by the respective faiths of Christianity and Islam bypassed Japan based on geography. Yes, Christianity did begin to grow in the later stages of the sixteenth century and early seventeenth century. However, the Tokugawa Period would soon oppress the Christian faith at all costs before the onset of yet another Abrahamic takeover.

Utsumi, while creating an adorable landscape that fuses nature and faith, is also alluding to the gentleness of the terrain despite the harsh winter conditions. Yet, the bigger picture equates to how Japan was luckily isolated from the enslaving and imperialistic forces of Christianity and Islam. Indeed, the natural scene of a Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple in the mountain landscape contrasts with the narrow-mindlessness of Abrahamic faiths that seek certainty in a world based on chaos.

The two art pieces titled “Art of Buddhism and Shintoism and Two Paths in the Snow” and “Art of Japan and the Two Paths of Shintoism and Buddhism: Holy Men in the Snow without Abraham,” alludes to the interwoven faiths of Buddhism and Shintoism that naturally share the same space in Japan. This natural flow of Buddhism and other non-Abrahamic faiths equally flowed in Afghanistan prior to the onset of Islam. However, now the Buddhist component of civilization in Afghanistan is nothing more than a memory. Instead, apostates from Islam face prison or death in 2018 in Sharia inclined nations based on no internal reformation unlike much of the Christian influenced world.

In the other art piece related to the same theme, I comment, Of course, the bigger picture relates to the crushing of Buddhism in history and the ongoing struggle of this faith in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Ladakh, Rakhine, Tibet, and other parts of the world, where Buddhism is threatened. Equally disturbing, even the historical legacy of Buddhism is being erased by Sunni Islamist forces in Afghanistan and further afield. Likewise, many Traditional Beliefs are still under threat from Christianity and Islam respectively – from small tribes in Brazil to tribes in Indonesia. Therefore, the beacon of the indigenous faith of Shintoism still shines brightly and this says much for Buddhism that did not seek to devour the indigenous faith – unlike the historical reality of Christian and Muslim forces throughout history that erased the past.”

 

Overall, the singular dimension is another adorable landscape by this contemporary Japanese artist that also fills the viewer with natural delight. Likewise, people can connect with aspects of Japanese culture and faith. However, the greater nuance applies to a land that wasn’t conquered by the faiths of Abraham. Therefore, the natural landscape and the interwoven angle of Buddhism and Shintoism relates to continuity and an inner peace based on escaping the excesses of Abrahamic faiths.

Written by Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

BELOW IS AN ART BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/art-of-japan-and-the-two-paths-of-shintoism-and-buddhism-holy-men-in-the-snow-without-abraham-sawako-utsumi.html Art of Japan and the Two Paths of Shintoism and Buddhism: Holy Men in the Snow without Abraham

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/art-of-buddhism-and-shintoism-and-two-paths-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html Art of Buddhism and Shintoism and Two Paths in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/exiled-buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html – Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-exile-and-homage-to-yoshitoshi-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-and-bleak-winter-in-exile-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren and Bleak Winter in Exile

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Japanese Art and the two paths of Buddhism and Shintoism: Faith in the Snow without Abraham

Japanese Art and the two paths of Buddhism and Shintoism: Faith in the Snow without Abraham

 

The latest art piece by Sawako Utsumi, a contemporary Japanese artist who hails from Northern Japan, utilizes the snowy landscape by highlighting the respective strengths of Buddhism and Shintoism despite terrible adversity. Of course, the adversity applies to the terrible weather conditions faced by the holy men of Buddhism and Shintoism in this art piece. However, on a bigger nuance, then it applies to certain international events that have decimated Buddhism and Traditional Beliefs throughout history – and is still happening today.

Before focusing on the bigger picture, the art piece itself titled “Art of Buddhism and Shintoism and Two Paths in the Snow,” is an adorable piece of art by Utsumi. This is based on the amazing landscape, the three holy men of Buddhism and Shintoism, the terrible winter conditions, the power of faith, and the distant Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine.

Indeed, the combined forces of religious faith, the bleakness of winter, and the amazing landscape illuminates the art piece because you feel dragged inside. Hence, a certain shrill of coldness is followed by deep admiration along with a yearning to feel the same certainty in this life.

Of course, the bigger picture relates to the crushing of Buddhism in history and the ongoing struggle of this faith in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Ladakh, Rakhine, Tibet, and other parts of the world, where Buddhism is threatened. Equally disturbing, even the historical legacy of Buddhism is being erased by Sunni Islamist forces in Afghanistan and further afield. Likewise, many Traditional Beliefs are still under threat from Christianity and Islam respectively – from small tribes in Brazil to tribes in Indonesia. Therefore, the beacon of the indigenous faith of Shintoism still shines brightly and this says much for Buddhism that did not seek to devour the indigenous faith – unlike the historical reality of Christian and Muslim forces throughout history that erased the past.

Overall, a stunning art piece by Utsumi that shows that two religious paths can co-exist naturally without seeking to crush and humiliate the other. Of course, this is a million miles from the two Abrahamic faiths of Christianity and Islam in history that sought to devour and control by endless power mechanisms.

Written by Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

BELOW IS AN ART BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/art-of-buddhism-and-shintoism-and-two-paths-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html Art of Buddhism and Shintoism and Two Paths in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/exiled-buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html – Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-exile-and-homage-to-yoshitoshi-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-and-bleak-winter-in-exile-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren and Bleak Winter in Exile

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Japan Artist and Nichiren the Buddhist Preacher: Trilogy of Exile in the Snow on Sado Island

Japan Artist and Nichiren the Buddhist Preacher: Trilogy of Exile in the Snow on Sado Island

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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Nichiren (1222-1282) is one of the most famous Buddhist teachers to emanate from Japan. Yet, he was very outspoken during his lifetime and this led him to be exiled and embroiled in the political processes of his day – irrespective if intended or unintended. Therefore, the contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi focuses on a trilogy of Nichiren during his exile on Sado Island.

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The wintry theme of the trilogy is meant to endorse the harshness of Nichiren’s exile. Despite this, it is clear that the first art piece is based on serenity and peaceful contemplation. Intriguingly, the second art piece focuses on the start of his bleak journey but solace can be seen in the background based on prior human contact. However, the third art piece depicts Nichiren against the harsh and bleak wintry conditions of Sado Island, whereby his exile looks treacherous.

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Yet, if you go back to the first art piece titled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi, then clearly Nichiren is at peace in the mountains. Hence, the second art piece titled Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow and the third art piece of the trilogy titled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren and Bleak Winter in Exile, are actually in the wrong order. This is based on Utsumi focusing on reality and unreality alongside the actualities of life itself. After all, often moving forward becomes firmly based on taking a backward step because the smaller things in life are now being negated based on greater ambitions. Indeed, many a politician, for example, succumbed to power and wealth – similarly, many families and friends become torn apart – or soon to be mere shadows – based on the natural causes and effects of capitalism, modernity, new relationships, and so forth.

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Turning back to Nichiren, then I state in a past article that, “Nichiren, himself, was very independent because he believed firmly that the true path lay within his teachings based on his knowledge of the written word. This holy Buddhist cleric made many enemies based on rebuking other Buddhist schools of thought. Yet, passion, the search for truth, questioning concepts deemed false, challenging authority, equally adhered people to Nichiren.”

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The Buddhist teacher Nichiren said, “Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering, and pleasure. They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline. The heavenly gods will surely protect one who is unbending before the eight winds.”

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In the trilogy by Utsumi, her focus is on “the seen” and “unseen.” Likewise, the time of life is not based on natural phenomenon but the spirituality of Nichiren. Hence, the timeline is incorrect because like wisdom, knowledge, virtue, and other noble ideas, then these can come and flow from all individuals at such a short notice. In other words, many a bad person did good things – and many a good person did evil, and so forth. Therefore, moments in time, perceptions, cultural aspects to individuals, and other important areas, are really illusionary based on the multi-dimensions of this world.

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Overall, Utsumi, in her trilogy of Nichiren and his exile on the beautiful island of Sado Island, is based on a complex approach to what is deemed to be the reality of life. Also, and especially powerful, even when a person is abandoned it doesn’t mean that weakness and decline will follow. Therefore, the wintry theme and the trilogy of her art pieces are focused on many dimensions that will have different meanings to the respective viewer of her art.

Lee Jay Walker

BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

sawako-book-3

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/exiled-buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html – Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-exile-and-homage-to-yoshitoshi-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-and-bleak-winter-in-exile-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren and Bleak Winter in Exile

http://sawakoart.com

 

Japanese Artist and Nichiren Buddhism: Exile in the Snow on Sado Island

Japanese Artist and Nichiren Buddhism: Exile in the Snow on Sado Island

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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The Buddhist holy man called Nichiren (1222-1282) was exiled to Sado Island in his native Japan. This reality was extremely harsh for Nichiren and his followers feared for him. However, Nichiren had faced even worse situations because he faced death based on political intrigues against him. Therefore, true to the nature of Nichiren, his exile to Sado Island created even more noble ways and deepened his spirituality to an even higher level.

Sawako Utsumi, a contemporary artist who hails from northern Japan, not surprisingly is intrigued by the historical legacy of Nichiren – and the reality of exile to Sado Island. Similarly, the landscape of Sado Island and the bleakness of winter appeals to this modern Japanese artist who adores landscape art. Intriguingly, the artist is more in tune to Shintoism, while ancestors will be a mixture of both faiths. After all, the fusions of Buddhism and the Shinto faith dot the landscape and the mindset of this nation despite the impact of secularism and modernization.

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Nichiren, himself, was very independent because he believed firmly that the true path lay within his teachings based on his knowledge of the written word. This holy Buddhist cleric made many enemies based on rebuking other Buddhist schools of thought. Yet, passion, the search for truth, questioning concepts deemed false, challenging authority, equally adhered people to Nichiren.

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Nichiren said, When a tree has been transplanted, though fierce winds may blow, it will not topple if it has a firm stake to hold it up.  But even a tree that has grown up in place may fall over if its roots are weak.  Even a feeble person will not stumble if those supporting him are strong, but a person of considerable strength, when alone, may fall down on an uneven path.”

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Utsumi, in her art pieces titled Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow and Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi, shows two completely different situations. The similar themes apply to isolation, the bleakness of nature, wintry conditions, and powerful landscapes that depict the exile of Nichiren. However, one art piece focuses on Nichiren in contemplation and feeling secure despite the wintry conditions he faces. Alternatively, the other art piece shows the brutal reality of the harshness of his exile during the severity of winter.

Therefore, the meaning of both, according to Utsumi, is the many different realities that we face in this lifetime despite much appearing the same. Once more, Utsumi is highlighting the mirage of past artists – while, at the same time, creating new intricacies based on her own stunning art.

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Nichiren said, “If one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.”

Alluding to both art pieces by Utsumi highlighted in this article, then the fire of art was lit by others. However, Utsumi brightens up the originals by playing on artistic and philosophical themes that are not easy to comprehend from the naked eye!

Lee Jay Walker

BELOW IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

sawako-book-3

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/exiled-buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html – Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-exile-and-homage-to-yoshitoshi-sawako-utsumi.html Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi

http://sawakoart.com

Modern Japanese Artist and Buddhism: Nichiren and Isolation of Exile on Sado Island

Modern Japanese Artist and Buddhism: Nichiren and Isolation of Exile on Sado Island

nichiren-utsumi1

The contemporary Japanese artist, Sawako Utsumi, focuses in this art piece on the famous Buddhist holy man called Nichiren (1222-1282). Unlike other established Buddhist religious leaders who influenced the people of Japan, Nichiren went against the grain because he would openly rebuke other Buddhist schools of thought. Therefore, Nichiren made many enemies during his lifetime and for this reason he was exiled to Sado Island in order to contemplate the errors of his ways.

However, true to Nichiren the exile on Sado Island provided this holy man with new religious insights. At the same time, it did not infringe on his belief that he held the right path in this complex world. Given this reality, the stunning art piece based on Nichiren in exile by Utsumi illuminates this period of his life.

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I comment in a past article, “Many amazing attributes and mysteries apply to Nichiren. After all, he escaped a brutal execution where so many others fell before him. This reality is based on the realms of nature but hidden within the mystery of life. Similarly, Nichiren predicted the Mongol invasion and challenged all and sundry where others would fear.”

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Not surprisingly, Utsumi, in her art piece titled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in Exile and Homage to Yoshitoshi, focuses on the original by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892 – above image by Yoshitoshi). Yet, despite this reality, more light in relation to his robes is noticeable and the same applies to a slightly bigger gap where Nichiren is contemplating many things deeply. These differences are minor but the meaning equates to a growing enlightenment that will open to a much wider audience based on the passages of time – despite his exile threatening much during this period of his lifetime.  Intriguingly, also, the sky is darker by Utsumi and this equally is based on the radiant robes of Nichiren that transcends night and day.

nichiren-utsumi2

The main tenets of Nichiren apply to absorption, learning, tranquility, and the notion of Buddhahood. Sado Island, therefore, provided Nichiren with more time to contemplate the bigger picture. This reality can be seen in the original by Yoshitoshi and further extended by Utsumi based on more lightness despite the darkness of the time for this holy religious leader.

Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

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ABOVE IS A NEW BOOK BASED ON THE ART OF SAWAKO UTSUMI

Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-exile-and-homage-to-yoshitoshi-sawako-utsumi.html

http://sawakoart.com

 

Art Book of Japan and European Art: Buddhism, Churches, Derbyshire, Dutch Art, Shinto, and Ukiyo-e

Art Book of Japan and European Art: Buddhism, Churches, Derbyshire, Dutch Art, Shinto, and Ukiyo-e

Tomoko Hara

Modern Tokyo Times

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The art book Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit and the under title European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters, is a real gem. This is based on the unique and complex themes chosen by the artist Sawako Utsumi. Therefore, if you adore contemporary artists who focus on culture and landscapes – while fusing this with various faiths, then this book is well worth buying because of the adorable art pieces by this developing artist (http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html).

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Like the title suggests, you have a plethora of different themes. Indeed, this is the beauty of this book that is written by Lee Jay Walker because the flows and contours cover many unique traits of Japan, where Utsumi hails from. At the same time, blending this with unique homages to specific European artists. Therefore, the world of Japanese Ukiyo-e sits most favorably with esteemed Dutch Masters then flows naturally to her own personal landscapes of the High Peak region of Derbyshire.

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The book says Sawako Utsumi is a modern artist from Japan who adores the richness of European and Japanese art. At the same time, this exquisite artist also adores painting landscapes of the natural beauty of the High Peak in Derbyshire, the richness of Christian churches that dot the landscape of this part of England and fusing ideas from her Buddhist and Shinto background.”

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Lee Jay Walker continues by saying, “Artists of homage in this book apply to Ando Hiroshige, Sakai Hoitsu, L.S. Lowry, Aert van der Neer, Kamisaka Sekka, Yokoyama Taikan, Maurice Utrillo, and Esaias van de Velde. Despite this, Sawako Utsumi imbues her own stamp on individual homages based on various seasons of the year, angles, color schemes, concepts, and other important factors. At the same time, this progressive Japanese artist focuses on personal landscapes that are heavily influenced by the natural beauty of Derbyshire and West Yorkshire in England.”

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In this intriguing art book Utsumi focuses on L.S. Lowry, and other unique and distinguished artists like Aert van der Neer and Kamisaka Sekka, yet the intriguing angle is Lowry. This independent artist said about aspects of his natural environment, “At first I detested it, and then, after years I got pretty interested in it, then obsessed by it … One day I missed a train from Pendlebury – (a place) I had ignored for seven years — and as I left the station I saw the Acme Spinning Company’s mill … The huge black framework of rows of yellow-lit windows standing up against the sad, damp charged afternoon sky. The mill was turning out … I watched this scene — which I’d looked at many times without seeing — with rapture…”

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Utsumi, just like Lowry, but for very different reasons, re-galvanized her art after meeting Lee Jay Walker who ironically hails from a similar part of England that Lowry knew full well. Therefore, the natural internal talents of Utsumi suddenly took a new artistic path whereby she became imbued with a new passion that brings together several parts of the world. On top of this, the faiths of Buddhism, Christianity, and Shintoism, creates a lovely unique dimension. The same equally applies to acknowledging artists from different centuries, for example, Esaias van de Velde and Maurice Utrillo, while not to neglect her own personal landscapes of the High Peak area of stunning Derbyshire in England.

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Overall, if you adore art, culture, landscapes, the fusions of different faiths, and other notable areas, then the book Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit comes highly recommended.

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Book Review: Sawako Utsumi and her Kindred Spirit

European and Japanese Art: Buddhism, Christianity, Landscapes, Rinpa, Shintoism, Ukiyo-e, and Dutch Masters

http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-jay-walker/sawako-utsumi-and-her-kindred-spirit/paperback/product-22830732.html – Please click on to order the book.

Sawako Utsumi personal website: http://sawakoart.com

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

Japanese Shinto Shrine and Isolated Buddhist Monk by Sawako Utsumi

Japanese Shinto Shrine and Isolated Buddhist Monk by Sawako Utsumi

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Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) utilized part of his art by focusing on simplicity but within the realm of sophistication based on hidden meanings. Of course, individuals can create, or shatter the myths of hidden meanings and in this sense only Sekka will know the answer. However, the beauty of art is that people can provide their own meanings. Therefore, Sawako Utsumi focuses on this angle.

In this adorable art piece by Sawako she focuses on the fusions of the original image by Sekka but adds her own dimensions based on the mountain backdrop and the Shinto shrine. Yet, is the Buddhist monk yearning for the shrine – or is it solely based on paying respect?

Given the weather conditions, highlighted by the monk, then what do you think?

Lee Jay Walker

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/japanese-shrine-and-isolated-monk-sawako-utsumi.html

http://sawakoart.com