Edo Period Japan - 1800s Rise of the Bourgeoisie
Part III (Part III of III) Art/Entertainment
- The risen middle class becomes the new patrons of the arts
forms that we (Kakemono Arts) have been introduced to from this period (1800-1865) are Buddhism or Shintoism influenced. Especially the iconic emblems of the Boddhi Dharma or Daruma, the typical Asian icons of turtles, cranes, pine trees and countless birds and natural imagery which could arguably be known as the primary source of the ‘ukiyo-e’ which depicts that natural world. Especially interesting is the concepts of combined plants and birds or animals which hold a specific meaning. The author Merrily Baird (Symbols of Japan) explains many as well as the Three Friends of Winter, (shochikubai) which is an ensemble of plum, bamboo, and pine. She goes on to explain that the three are
There are many different types of combinations which can be traced back to Chinese and Japanese origin and which have Buddhism or Shintoism concepts. As well the previously mentioned form, which is known as ukiyo-e, or ‘images of a floating world’ continued to grow in complexity and imagination. There was also writing and imagery depicting the underworld, ironically also called the ‘ukiyo-e’ which depicted the urban pleasures of the theater and brothel districts of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, this became popular art for the average urban citizen which was not unique to Japan, but the world of visual and literary arts during the high times of the bourgeoisie of the main cities was very uniquely Japanese; as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto also grew to represent the modern urban native Japanese, the arts scene could be categorized as an artistic explosion.
Kenneth Henshall; A History of Japan
Merrily Baird; Symbols of Japan
Tsuneko Sadao/Stephanie Wada; Discovering the Arts of Japan