Japan Art and Buddhism: Kyoto and Nara by Eiichi Kotozuka

Japan Art and Buddhism: Kyoto and Nara by Eiichi Kotozuka

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Eiichi Kotozuka was born during the late Meiji Period (1868-1912) in Osaka in 1906. He is especially noted for his sōsaku hanga (creative prints) prints – which blessed Japan. 

Kotozuka benefitted enormously from the rich cultural traditions of Kyoto and Nara. Henceforth, this article focuses on the Buddhist temples he depicts – which link the high culture and religious dynamics of Kyoto and Nara through the prism of prints.

The delightful city of Nara is the birthplace of Japanese high culture. It is where Buddhism became the “guardian of the state” under Emperor Shōmu in the eighth century.

In the print above, the natural beauty of Nara is visualized by this lovely print.

The first and third prints focus on Buddhism in Kyoto. Accordingly, one can imagine the richness of everyday life in Kyoto in these prints by Kotozuka – and the cultural legacy of this famous city that continues today.

Nichiren said: “If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.”

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