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May 12

May 12

Our first lecture of the morning was by Swanson-sensei on Japanese art history during the Asuka, Hakuho, and Nara periods. Swanson-sensei noted that although she largely tries to expose us to secular art, since that's more applicable to chado, the influence of religious art is inescapable, and today we would see some images of religious art produced in the time after Buddhism was introduced to Japan in 552 (or 538). Since Buddhism was introduced from outside of Japan, naturally internationalization was a theme during these periods, with influences from Korea and China. Swanson-sensei pointed out that in the Buddhist art of these periods, similar standards of beauty applied to both aristocrats and deities, so that images of Buddha and bodhisattvas have clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and poses that reflect contemporary aristocratic style (luxurious rather than modest). One image in particular that stuck with me portrayed the Buddha flanked by a pair of bodhisattvas in contrapposto postures. Swanson-sensei also told us about Shōsōin, a sort of "time capsule" of Emperor Shomu's belongings established in Nara by his widow after he died. Wikipedia reports that although "collections are not open to the public, selections are shown at Nara National Museum once a year in autumn." So, note to self: go visit Nara in the autumn. Also, Hamana-sensei seems to have forgotten that we've already been introduced to outside teachers like Swanson-sensei, Tanihata-sensei, and Matsunami-sensei, so each time we have another lecture from them he insists we 1As introduce ourselves. No one has spoken up and told him we've already done this.

Next Hamana-sensei lectured on more tana: Rikyu-konomi maru joku (unfinished paulownia wood), Rikyu-konomi Kakudana, Rikyu-konomi Tabidansu, Sotan-konomi Koraijoku, Sotan-konomi maru joku (ikkanbari lacquer), and Senso-konomi kuwa kojoku. I took notes at a furious pace, as is typical during a Hamana-sensei lecture, but I couldn't keep up with his descriptions of the kazari for shozumi, after koicha, after usucha, and sokazari, the first of which I'd never done and the last of which I didn't know the meaning. So I felt pretty lost toward the end of each tana description. I suspect we'll be expected to know this stuff when we get to it in jitsugi. :/ Guess I'll be scrambling for some reference materials.

karagoromo 唐衣 by Surugaya 駿河屋That afternoon was our chance to do kokodana usucha, with Imagawa-sensei IIRC. I went first, and I didn't do too badly. The day's omogashi was karagoromo 唐衣 (meaning "ancient Chinese clothes") by Surugaya 駿河屋, pictured here. And other than that my memories of that day's practice have faded. That'll teach me to procrastinate so long in posting an update.

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/17172.html.