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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Contemporary Japanese Artist and Shintoism: Kano School and Independent Spirit of Sawako Utsumi

Contemporary Japanese Artist and Shintoism: Kano School and Independent Spirit of Sawako Utsumi

 

Sawako Utsumi is a contemporary Japanese artist who hails from the land of the rising sun. In this art article, the emphasis is on the individualism of Utsumi who is paying utmost respect to two artists belonging to the Kano School of Art. Despite the respect being shown to Kano Motonobu (1476-1559) and Kano Chikanobu (1660-1728), it is abundantly clear that the independent spirit – and unique angle of Utsumi – creates a new approach.

The art pieces by Utsumi are titled In the Shadow of the Past: Utsumi and the Kano School and The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened by Shintoism. Indeed, the Shinto angle by Utsumi is extremely significant because Buddhism during this period of Japanese history was dominant in major centers of power. Of course, Buddhism and Shintoism – and the powerful impact of Confucianism – flowed naturally either individually, based on fusions, interacted in various spheres of society, and so forth. Similarly, other ideas entered Japan from the Middle Kingdom (China), for example, Daoism.

Yet, for Utsumi, she is turning back to a different time period, whereby the Shinto faith solely guided the people of Japan before external faiths and philosophies impacted. At the same time, the color scheme and religious dominance of the Shinto shrine in both art pieces by Utusmi alter the role of the village depicted by Chikanobu – while moving further away from Motonobu.

I comment in a past article, in respect to homage being shown to Chikanobu, that The title is a reminder that in time all artists and famous people fade into dwindling influence culturally and scientifically, irrespective of the name. Yes, famous artists, philosophers, scientists, and so forth, remain well known but scratch under the surface and most are known superficially apart from specialists. However, holy religious people including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Lord Ram, St. Paul, Mohammed, and many others from faiths already mentioned or from other faiths including Sikhism, remain potent just like they were born yesterday. Hence, Shintoism awakens the fading spirit of Chikanobu because the Shinto faith will continue to be culturally and religiously significant to Japan until the end of time, even if shadows encroach.”

Interestingly, Motonobu belongs to the pre-Edo period of Japan, while Chikanobu was born during the Edo period. Hence, the continuity of the Kano School of Art was maintained based on interaction and opening up to new artistic concepts, irrespective of how minor or major.

Overall, Utsumi is turning the clock back in order to return to a time when the Shinto faith guided in a very limited sense. In the eyes of Utsumi, Folk Shintoism responds to the natural environment in a special way. This is further enhanced by regional Shinto influences that differ throughout this land.

Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-fading-spirit-of-chikanobu-awakened-by-shintoism-sawako-utsumi.html

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/modern-japanese-art-in-the-shadow-of-the-past-utsumi-and-kano-school-sawako-utsumi.html

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://sawakoart.com

Contemporary Japanese Artist: The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened by Shintoism

Contemporary Japanese Artist: The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened by Shintoism

The contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi in her latest art piece titled The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened by Shintoism, provides an adorable individual approach. This applies to a fusion of homage to Kano Chikanobu (1660-1728) along with a spark of individualism that takes you away from the original and then back again.

Another delightful approach by Utsumi applies to the Shinto angle. Indeed, while the impact of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shintoism was more powerful during the lifetime of Chikanobu (original art piece below), the contemporary artist focuses on the religious angle within her art piece. Of course, for Utsumi, the significance belongs to the indigenous faith of Shintoism that continues to endure in modern Japan, even if sometimes in the shadows.

The title is a reminder that in time all artists and famous people fade into dwindling influence culturally and scientifically, irrespective of the name. Yes, famous artists, philosophers, scientists, and so forth, remain well known but scratch under the surface and most are known superficially apart from specialists. However, holy religious people including Abraham, the Buddha, Jesus, Lord Ram, St. Paul, Mohammed, and many others from faiths already mentioned or from other faiths including Sikhism, remain potent just like they were born yesterday. Hence, Shintoism awakens the fading spirit of Chikanobu because the Shinto faith will continue to be culturally and religiously significant to Japan until the end of time, even if shadows encroach.

Chikanobu lived during the early Edo period and while Japan was mainly isolated – but not completely – the flows of the past continued. In other words, Chinese and Japanese classics impacted greatly on the famous Kano School of Art.

Utsumi herself plays on this but in the opposite direction because she is returning to the past. Therefore, while modern Japan is awash with modern technology, the reality of animation, communication via social media, skyscrapers, the impact of different cultures including America, and other realities, Utsumi binds her homage to the traditions of Shintoism. Equally important, Utsumi does this based on the distant approach taken by Shintoism, whereby nature and a subtle reality are more important than open proselytism or a rich theocratic dogma that belongs to other international faiths.

Lee Jay Walker

Please email Sawako Utsumi at sawakoart@gmail.com

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-fading-spirit-of-chikanobu-awakened-by-shintoism-sawako-utsumi.html

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://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

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.

product_thumbnail 

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 Art: Spirit Of Shinto and Ukiyo-e in the Light Of Nature

Japanese Art: Spirit Of Shinto and Ukiyo-e in the Light Of Nature

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In the stunning art piece by Sawako Utsumi titled Spirit of Shinto and Ukiyo-e in the Light of Nature, you have so many intimate and adorable intricacies. This applies to the rich influence of ukiyo-e during the height of power of this artistic movement, to the continuity of Shintoism that blends naturally with nature. Therefore, the Japanese artist Utsumi focuses on simple themes based on a notable art piece by a master of ukiyo-e. However, she does this based on her own individuality and this equally applies to the color scheme, nature, and the adage of a Shinto priest.

The land of Japan is notably shaped by the indigenous faith of Shintoism but Buddhism emerged to be a potent religious center at the heart of this nation. Indeed, powerful religious holy cities including Kyoto, Koyasan, and Nara highlight the power of Buddhism in the land of the rising sun. This reality flowed within Japanese society because of Buddhist priests entering from China and Korea – and because Japanese religious thinkers entered the Middle Kingdom. At the same time, Confucianism impacted heavily during various periods of Japanese society because of the interaction that flowed between China and Japan.

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Ukiyo-e emerged during the Edo period and continued to flourish during the early era of the Meiji period after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Yet, the onset of modernity, technology, the influence of Western art, new artistic movements, greater options for Japanese citizens – and other factors, meant that ukiyo-e would soon decrease in influence. Despite this, great ukiyo-e artists left behind a rich legacy and influenced various powerful impressionist artists.

Utsumi masterly fuses the old artistic world of ukiyo-e with the indigenous faith of Shintoism. Yet, this is done in a simplistic manner based on the power of a past master of ukiyo-e. However, like mentioned earlier, Utsumi provides her own unique style whereby the delicate miniature of a Shinto priest is illuminated by the meaning of the art piece. Similarly, the powerful color scheme by Utsumi flows naturally within Shintoism because nature is so powerful in this faith.

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Therefore, this art piece by Utsumi is a firm reminder that not only does the old artistic world still survive the travels of time, but also equally important the soul of Shinto still ticks within the heart of society.

Lee Jay Walker

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

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.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/spirit-of-shinto-and-ukiyo-e-in-the-light-of-nature-sawako-utsumi.html?newartwork=true

Japanese Art: Mount Fuji and Power of Mystery

Japanese Art: Mount Fuji and Power of Mystery

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Mount Fuji in Japan means many things to different individuals because of the symbolic importance of this highly impressive and unique mountain. Internationally, Mount Fuji is famous and for individuals flying to Japan for the first time, then the view is amazing if you are lucky enough to see this stunning mountain. Naturally, in the world of Japanese art the power of Mount Fuji is equally illuminated to a higher level.

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Sawako Utsumi, in her art piece titled Mount Fuji and Power of Mystery, is also creating another intriguing art piece. After all, the backdrop takes you back to past Japanese artists but within the setting of modern times.

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This reality resembles the continuity of Shintoism whereby nature and blood remain potent. Indeed, just like the spirits of obon visit the living during the holy period, then the same common factor unifying Japanese art runs through the veins of all artists who paint Mount Fuji.

Lee Jay Walker

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

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/mount-fuji-and-power-of-mystery-sawako-utsumi.html

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