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

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

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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.

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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