Artistic journeys in Japan - part 2

Friday, 2 May 2014

In Kyoto, I also tried writing sutras at Kenninji temple. It overlooked a garden and was meant to be a meditative exercise. For me, however, unfamiliar with kanji as I am, it required a lot of concentration. I really enjoyed it and it was a revelation.

Whilst in Tokyo, I visited this exhibition of sutras in the Nezu museum. I loved the combination of deepest indigo paper and gold ink in this Sutra from the Heian period (12th century).

The art of Shodou (literally the way of the brush) plays a large part in Japan's cultural heritage. Lavishly decorated Sutras historically were an essential part of devout Buddhism, and resulted in the most stunning work. The Chikubushima Sutra above is decorated with drawings of plants and animals, and also dates from the Heian period.

The Lotus Sutra above dates from the 12th century. The illustration has no relation to the subject of the Sutra writing. Rather the calligraphy is seen as a decorative form in its own right and as a religious offering.

1 comment:

Jeanmi said...

Ce soir, je m'endormirai moins idiot qu'hier, merci et bravo !