Photography in old Japan and the distortion of reality

Photography in old Japan and the distortion of reality Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times Kusakabe Kimbei was born in 1841 in Edo Japan and died in the 1930s during a period of heightened political tension. Hence, one can only imagine the things he witnessed because many convulsions hit Japan throughout his lifetime. Thus, despite…

Poetry, religion, and high culture in sixteenth-century Japan

Poetry, religion, and high culture in sixteenth-century Japan Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times In time, the poet Arakida Moritake (1473-1549) became the symbolic head Shinto priest of the prestigious Inner Ise Shrine. Hence, with the Shinto faith meaning so much to Moritake, one can only imagine the inner-peace this provided. After all, the rigors…

Japanese art and Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)

Japanese art and Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815) Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese woodblock (ukiyo-e) artist Torii Kiyonaga was a very innovative artist who helped to enhance the prestige of the Torii School. Indeed, despite Kiyonaga not belonging to the Torii family, he still rose to the top and adopted this esteemed name. Kiyonaga…

Buddhism and poetry in Japan during the Nara Period

Buddhism and poetry in Japan during the Nara Period Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times   Yamabe no Akahito belongs to the world of eighth-century Japan when Nara was the cradle of high culture in this nation. In truth, the jigsaw of his life is extremely difficult to piece together. Hence, his relationship with the…

Ancient Japanese poetry of Mibu no Tadamine

Ancient Japanese poetry of Mibu no Tadamine Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese poet Mibu no Tadamine belongs to the early Heian poetry scene in Japan. Sadly, not much is known about his actual birth and death. Hence, little is known about the things that reached his heart during his early years of…

Japanese artist and a delightful Dutch winter landscape based on Hendrick Avercamp

Japanese artist and a delightful Dutch winter landscape based on Hendrick Avercamp Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times   The world of Dutch art in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries really appeals to Sawako Utsumi, who is a contemporary Japanese artist. Historically, the links developed between Japan and Holland (the Netherlands) are also extremely fascinating,…

Japanese Zen Buddhist poetry by Sesson Yūbai and the impact of the Middle Kingdom (China)

Japanese Zen Buddhist poetry by Sesson Yūbai and the impact of the Middle Kingdom (China) Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The notable Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Sesson Yūbai (1290-1346?), witnessed the richness of culture during his stay in the Middle Kingdom (China) and the darkness of the ruling elites who imprisoned him. Hence, his…