Art Of Buddhism and Shintoism sharing the same Japanese Tree

Art Of Buddhism and Shintoism sharing the same Japanese Tree

Unlike the Islamist sword that cut down the tree of Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan and other parts of Asia, the faiths and philosophies of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism have impacted greatly on Japan. Of course, the impact of all four had golden periods. Hence, while Confucianism and Taoism remain embedded in various areas of Japanese culture to varying degrees, it is Buddhism and Shintoism that remains firmly in the mindset.

In the latest art piece by the contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi, she reflects and deflects the reality of nature in various ways. On the one hand, the holy men walking towards a temple and shrine highlight the Buddhist and Shinto theme. However, the natural angle is based on reflecting reality.

For example, rather than heavy snow on the mountaintop, the snow is thicker on lowland areas. Equally, the adorable pink tree in the middle of the Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine is more akin to a warmer climate and different season. Likewise, the misty lowland scene and lovely blue skyline are meant to resemble the fusions and confusions of life.

Nichiren, one of the most famous holy Buddhist teachers from the land of the rising sun, uttered, “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.”

Likewise, despite the climatic conditions and skyline of Utsumi’s art piece appearing outside the norm of nature, the holy men of Buddhism and Shintoism remain unbending. Similarly, the attitude of Utsumi towards art neither craves recognition or material gain. Therefore, the spirit of the kami flows naturally between European and Japanese themes for Utsumi; the upshot is that chaos and conformity are just nuances to be expressed and manipulated.

Overall, the art piece titledArt Of Buddhism and Shintoism sharing the same Japanese Tree,” is not only extremely beautiful to the eye, but it is also aesthetically appealing based on the chaos theory. Yet, while the chaos theory exists the beauty of Utsumi is that continuity is equally important. This is based on Buddhism and Shintoism that flows naturally in Japan, even if the words and edicts are vague to non-existent depending on applying to each respective faith.

Written by Lee Jay Walker

BELOW 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/exiled-buddhist-cleric-nichiren-in-the-snow-sawako-utsumi.html – Exiled Buddhist Cleric Nichiren in the Snow

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/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

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

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