Saturday, 29 April 2017

Why Wild Geese? The katada print

#wildgeeeseatkatata #katata #katada #ukiyo-e

Why is Wild Geese at Katada one of the Eight Views of Omi?

Katada was also noted for a shrine called the Ukimodo so why Geese in Flight?

Here are two different print son the Wild geese theme.

MMM both views seem to show wetlands in the foreground?

I googled a map of Katada ... Even today there are two streams flowing into a shallow bay and foreground parklands that could be been wetlands and perhaps still are. 
Perhaps visitors to the Ukimodo also came there to view the geese in flight.
I can easily imagine aristocrats familiar with Chinese poetry saying 
"We have geese in flight too!" 

Most of the views of Omi promoted to parallel the famous ones of Chinese paintings have multiple cultural and historical associations, some rather obscure now, and they also tell us how the Japanese environment has changed over the centuries.

Does anyone know if Geese still visit or breed Lake Biwa?

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Nihonga style depiction of a Dove

In keeping with our current #Dove theme a Jjapanese  #Nihonga #painting

Our next theme for the year of the bird may be peacocks or geese.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Terror and Doves

#waka #saigyo #dove

This is SKKS XVII:167 the# ShinKokinshuu

The #Japanese text I saw had kana for every single word but koe.

Here's the #Romaji

Furu hata no / soba no tatsuki ni / iru hato no / tomo yobu koe no /  sugoki  yuugure 

At the side of an old field a dove has landed and lingers in a tree that stands alone calling loudly for his companions at the edge of a terrible night.

old field connective side connective standing tree comes exists remains dove connective companion friend yobu calling summoning loudly connective sugoki seems to be sugoi or sugomu in bungo form wierd terrible spooky odd

Is it edge of a terrible night or the spooky  beginning of night and why is the dove alone?
These are flock birds? A string of linked simple images yet also a mystery!

The use of kana for several words with double meanings adds to the mystery!

Oh that last line sugoki yuugure !

Think about how it would sound recited out aloud not merely read?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Shen Zhou Dove Painting

#shenzhou #ming #dove #painting #chineseart

For our next YEAR of the BIRD  sequence our avain will be the DOVE starting with this Chinese Painting by Shen Zhou from the Ming Dynasty. He is usually cited in art history texts as a landscape painter but he worked with other themes too!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Another Cockerel for the Year of the Rooster

#yearoftherooster #yearofthe firerooster #shenzhou #chinesepainting #ming.

Here's an image of a rooster by Shen Zhou a Ming Dynasty Chinese Painter also famous for landscapes and calligraphy.

Its a slightly scrawny scruffy bird fluffing its feathers and clearly looking back at the artist. 
Perhaps a favored pet wandered into the part of Shen Zhou's residence where he had his studio pavilion? Its not a pretty bird but definitely one with personality and attitude.

The brush styles used for the feathers complement and contrast with the different types used for the branches and then there's the restrained and careful use of brown coloring to admire too!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Birds at a Shrine

#shiki wrote a #haiku depicting #birds at a #shinto #shrine that can be read two ways

mi+yashiro ya
niwa hi ni tooki
ukine dori

depending on whether you read niwa and hi as one word or two
this reads

 prefix honorable shrine shinto

garden/yard/enclosed space light / fire being at distance tooki is a verb! toku !
floating - sleeping implied birds ukine = sleeping in a ship or floating object or uneasy sleep

Why are the birds sleeping in the shadows so far away from the light?

They should be safe on the grounds of a shrine?

I thought they were simply avoiding being disturbed and that Shiki was creating a word picture of birds barely visible but recently I found niwahi can also mean bonfire so there's a note of anxiety and sympathy ... the birds have perhaps moved as far as they can across a pond away from the noise of humans celebrating some kind of fire ritual?

Poor birds!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Quail in the Grasses

Quail in the Grasses is a popular theme in Japanese probably due to the poem I'm going to post below.

#quail #japaneseart #shunzei #waka

18th - 19th painting by unknown artist from Japan 
This and other images of quail and grass may have been illustrated this famous poem by Shunzei also known as Fujiwara Toshinari  SZSIV259 or SKKS 4.291 also and Miner






Its one of those elegant Heian waka that are both simple yet complex

Evening is passing over
fields vicinity of autumn wind  note fields NOT Moors see my note on Fukasato
nobe is written as no+be with kanji in the text i saw but spoken it could mean stretching
shimite could be shimeru pierced by cold wind feel pain or frozen and chilled
uzura are quail they could be wild or domestic
village of dense deep grass
this is an actual location now a suburb between Kyoto and Fushimi

Its evening a cold wind is moving and the quail are crying perhaps just their roosting call but perhaps some predator is stalking them?

Perhaps this was one of those rare areas where the soil wasnt right for rice paddies but the grasses had been left to grow for cattle and horses ?

The poet isnt in the city or the deep mountains but a semi rural area
Nowhere exotic but he makes the moment special and memorable!