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Posts Tagged ‘Asahi Shinbun’


I guess it’s old news now, because I took so long before I got around to posting about it, but a sliding screen (fusuma) painting by Edo period literati painter Yosa Buson was recently discovered. The Asahi Shinbun article, and a translation of it, follows.

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与謝蕪村の6面襖絵見つかる 初期の大作

2010 年8月14日15時0分

 江戸時代中期の俳人で、画家としても知られる与謝蕪村(1716~83)が描いた6面の襖(ふすま)絵が見つかった。初期の大作絵画で、これまで知られておらず、8月20日発行の美術誌「国華」1378号(国華社刊)で発表される。同誌編集委員の小林忠・学習院大教授は「文人画家として本格的な歩みを始めたころの記念碑的な作品」と話す。

 発見された「琴棋書画図襖(きんきしょがずふすま)」は、1面が縦166センチ、横86~91センチの大きさ。紙に墨と淡彩で、琴、棋(囲碁)、書画に親しむ文人の理想的な姿が描かれている。美術市場に出てきた際に京都の美術商が購入。今年の春に小林教授が調べたところ、「四明」という署名があることや、当時の蕪村の画風と一致することから、本人の作品と判断した。来歴は不明で、どこの建物に描かれたかは分からないという。

 蕪村は池大雅(いけの・たいが)と共に日本独自の文人画を大成したことで知られる。署名から、この絵は40歳前後のころに描かれたとみられる。丹後(京都府北部)の宮津で3年ほど過ごし、絵に本格的に取り組むようになった時期だ。

 小林教授は「俳人として既に知られていた蕪村は、丹後時代に画家として大きく成長した。この絵は素直で素朴な描写で、さなぎから蝶(ちょう)になろうとしている蕪村の画風を伝える重要な作品といえる」と話す。(西田健作)

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A six-panel sliding screen painting by Yosa Buson is discovered – a great work from his early career

A six-panel fusuma painting by Yosa Buson (1716-83), known both as a painter and poet of the mid-Edo period, has been discovered. The painting is a major work from his early period, and was up until now unknown, the latest issue of the arts magazine Kokka (vol. 1378), published on 8/20, announces. Kobayashi Tadashi, Gakushûin University professor and Kokka editor, said “this is a work which serves as a monument to the beginning of his earnest progress as a literati painter.”

The discovered work, titled Kinkishoga-zu fusuma, or “Fusuma Painting of the Four Pursuits of the Scholarly Gentleman” (that is, music, games of skill such as go, writing/calligraphy/poetry, and painting), is 166 cm tall, and each of the six panels is 86-91 cm wide. Literati intimately familiar with these pursuits are depicted idealistically in black ink and light color on paper. When it appeared on the art market, a Kyoto art dealer purchased it. When Prof. Kobayashi examined it this spring, he found the signature “Shimei” (one of Buson’s pseudonyms), determined that the style matched that of Buson’s at that time in his career, and decided that it was indeed a piece by Buson himself. The provenance of the piece is unclear.

Yosa Buson, along with Ike no Taiga, are known as the chief Japanese painters to establish the mode or genre of literati painting. Based on the signature, it would seem this work was painted by Buson around age 40. Around that time, he lived in Miyazu, in Tango (in the north of what is today Kyoto Prefecture) for three years, and earnestly grappled with paintings.

Professor Kobayashi said, “Buson, already known as a poet, grew dramatically as a painter in his time in Tango. This painting is an honest and simple depiction, and is an important work telling us of the style of Buson as he sought to emerge from the chrysalis as a butterfly.”

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The Shûon-an Ikkyû-ji, a temple in Kyoto prefecture where the Muromachi period monk Ikkyû once stayed, is replacing 43 Kanô Tan’yû wall paintings in its hôjô hall with digital reproductions, for conservation purposes, while the real paintings are removed and placed into storage. The same is being done for four paintings by late Edo period artist Hara Zaichû.

The paintings have suffered from sun damage, and from frequent repairs, to the point that, according to yesterday’s Asahi Shinbun article, the ink lines are growing less crisp and are bleeding into the blank spaces.

The temple commissioned Dai-Nippon Printing for the task. Large scanners and cameras were used to capture the images from the original paintings. The images were then touched up so that the more damaged parts matched the better conserved areas in tint and hue, and everything was printed out onto washi (Japanese paper). In these reproductions, the elegant brushwork of Tan’yû’s most mature period can be seen clearly. The chief priest said, “From now on we can view these paintings with relief, unconcerned about deterioration.”

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I present the original text of the article here, as Asahi is sure to take it down soon:

狩野探幽の障壁画、デジタル技術で再製 京都・一休寺

2010年4月24日9時48 分

とんちで知られる室町時代の一休禅師が晩年を過ごした酬恩庵(しゅうおんあん)「一休寺」(京都府京田辺市)は、国の重要文化財「方丈」(接客・仏事に使う建物)にある障壁画47面をデジタル技術により再製し、本物と入れ替えたと発表した。障壁画は江戸前期の狩野派の絵師・狩野探幽(かのう・たんゆう)らが手がけたもので傷みが激しく、今後は境内の宝物殿で保管される。

 障壁画は、探幽が描いた「松竹梅図」など43面と、江戸後期の画家・原在中(はら・ざいちゅう)が描いた4面。日焼けや度重なる修復で、墨と余白の境目が判別しにくくなるなど傷みが激しかった。

 一休寺はデジタル技術を持つ大日本印刷に依頼。昨年5月ごろから同社が大型のスキャナーとカメラで原画を読み取り、汚れた部分は保存状態の良い部分と同じ色合いになるように調整して和紙に印刷した。再製により、探幽の円熟期の端麗な筆遣いが鮮明によみがえった。同寺の田辺宗一住職は「今後は劣化の心配なく、安心して見てもらえる」と話している。

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A lot could be said about the philosophies of curation vs conservation, the value of seeing the real object at the cost of exposing it to potential damage, the value of preserving the real object at the cost of not being able to see it, etc.

I fear the day that more and more temples, shrines, and even museums display only reproductions, but of course, one also does not want to see real objects kept in poor conservation conditions, exposed to dangers and damage.

I recall some time ago, an article about major museums in Japan reproducing and displaying reproductions of objects they don’t own, in order to make available to the Japanese public objects in American or European collections. This of course raises other questions and issues.

Perhaps after beginning the Museum Theory course I’m taking next term I’ll have more to say about this, but for now, I shall simply leave it by saying that it’s something to think about, and I’m not sure I can personally come down on either side, for or against reproductions.

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A set of saddle and stirrups, lavishly decorated in gold maki-e, and belonging to Shimazu Nariakira, has surfaced in Osaka. Held by Takatsuki City in Osaka prefecture, the saddle and stirrups might have been a gift from the shogunate to Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858), second-to-last daimyô of Satsuma han, and adoptive father to Atsuhime, wife of Shogun Tokugawa Iesada.

Despite being associated with this 19th century figure, the saddle and stirrups are believed to date back to the Muromachi period. The date Entoku 2 (corresponding to 1490 in the Western calendar) is engraved into the underside, along with the kaô (a special kind of signature) of Ise Sadamune, mandokoro shitsuji (government steward) of the Muromachi shogunate. It seems likely that the gold foil decorations were, at least in part, added later, warrior accoutrements such as these having become far more a matter of display than of practicality as the Edo period went on; in the early Sengoku period, when these were fashioned, they were presumably fashioned with much more practical purposes in mind.

The city obtained these objects from a local collector in 1989. One record has been found indicating that they were given to Shimazu Narioki (Nariakira’s father), by Tokugawa Ienari at some point, in exchange for a 100,000 ryô payment (donation?) to the government. The Shimazu family then sold the set at auction in 1928, at a time of financial need.

The stirrups and saddle will be on display at the Takatsuki City Shiroato History Museum until May 16.

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Original text provided on account of Asahi’s failure to archive. When Asahi starts archiving articles and making them available on their own website, I will stop posting full-text, and will encourage my readers to go through the official site.

大阪府高槻市が所有する木製馬具の鞍(くら)と鐙(あぶみ)が、幕末の薩摩藩主・島津斉彬(なりあきら)=1809~1858=の所蔵品だったことがわかった。同市教委が発表した。室町時代の作で、江戸時代後期に表面に蒔絵(まきえ)が塗り直され、徳川将軍家から島津家に贈られた品とみられる。

 島津斉彬は幕末に先進的な産業政策を推進し、幕府政治にも関与した。NHK大河ドラマにもなった天璋院篤姫の養父にあたる。

 馬の背に置く鞍は高さ約32センチ、長さ約38センチ、幅約39センチ。騎乗時に足を乗せる鐙は左右とも高さ約26センチ、長さ約30センチ、幅約12センチ。いずれも戦時に使う軍配や采配の蒔絵が金や朱で描かれている。鞍の裏側には、室町時代後期の延徳2(1490)年の年号と、室町幕府政所執事(まんどころしつじ)の伊勢貞宗の花押(かおう)が刻まれていた。

 市教委によると、伊勢氏は武家の礼儀作法や馬具作りに長じた家系で、鞍と鐙は貞宗の作とみられる。由緒ある鞍などは後年に蒔絵を塗り直して所蔵する例が多い。

高槻市は1989年、地元の美術品愛好家から寄贈を受けた。調査の結果、徳川家の公式記録の一つ、「続徳川実紀」に、斉彬の父斉興(なりおき)が11代将軍家斉(いえなり)=1773~1841=に10万両を上納し、鞍と鐙を賜った、との記述がみつかった。斉興から斉彬への譲渡重物目録に記された鞍の文様の特徴とも一致した。

 さらに、1928年の島津家所蔵品の売立(うりたて)=オークション=目録にこの鞍と酷似する写真が掲載されており、斉彬の所蔵品と結論づけた。

 島津家の史料を保存研究する尚古集成館(しょうこしゅうせいかん)=鹿児島市=の岩川拓夫学芸研究員は「経済状況の窮迫で売立は何度かされているが、行方の分からないものが多い。斉彬のものとすれば、徳川家と島津家の密接な関係を示す貴重な発見だ」としている。

 鞍と鐙は5月16日まで、高槻市立しろあと歴史館(072・673・3987)で公開される。(坪倉由佳子

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The Asahi Shinbun reports today that some remains, or archaeological traces, have been found of a castle ordered destroyed by Oda Nobunaga in 1580. When Nobunaga took over a territory, he would have some castles kept intact, and either assigned his own men to take over these command posts, or secured an oath of loyalty from the defeated lord already in command of that site; other castles were ordered destroyed.

Tsutsui castle, located in Yamato-kôriyama, in Nara prefecture, was one such castle. It’s apparently quite rare to find any ruins or remains of these castles, but excavations in the inner moat have recently revealed traces or signs of the destroyed castle.

As one scholar commented, this is an important discovery as it helps us understand that castles destroyed at these times, under these circumstances, were destroyed down to even the moats, not just the buildings themselves.

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As the Asahi doesn’t like to archive their news articles and keep them available, I’ll archive the full text for them (for you):

鳴かぬなら壊してしまえ筒井城 内堀埋めた破城跡発見

2010年3月19日16時13分

 戦国武将、筒井順慶(じゅんけい)(1549~1584)の居城だった奈良県大和郡山市の筒井城跡で、内堀を埋めて城を壊した「破城(はじょう)」の跡が見つかった。同市教委が発表した。織田信長は権力強化のため、占拠した地域の城について一部の城を残してほかは破壊するよう命じたが、実際に破城の跡が見つかるのは珍しいという。

 市教委が学術調査のため、2月から約200平方メートルを発掘した。埋められていた内堀は幅約6メートル、深さ約2.5メートルで、城の中核「主郭(しゅかく)」の南端に位置していた。当時の興福寺の僧侶、多聞院英俊(たもんいん・えいしゅん)が記した「多聞院日記」によると、筒井城は1580(天正8)年8月、信長の命で順慶が壊したという。

 中井均・同志社大学非常勤講師(中世城郭)は「織豊(しょくほう)時代の破城は実態がよくわかっていなかったが、建物だけでなく、堀も徹底的に壊したことがわかる貴重な発見だ」と話す。(土居新平)

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