Japan art and Buddhist Monks in the deep snow with a Shinto Shrine in the distance

Japan art and Buddhist Monks in the deep snow with a Shinto Shrine in the distance

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


The contemporary Japanese artist Sawako Utsumi utilizes the simplicity of an art piece by Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942). However, as usual, Utsumi provides her unique angle related to the backdrop of a Shinto shrine in one image. Meanwhile, in the other image, the mystery belongs to what isn’t seen.

Sekka utilized part of his art by focusing on simplicity but within the realm of sophistication based on hidden meanings. In saying this, individuals can create or shatter the myths of hidden meanings. Hence, only Sekka will know the real meaning of each art piece – if any meaning exits!

In Japan, the indigenous faith of Shintoism is visible even when it appears invisible. This relates to customs in the backdrop of a home, a small shrine that is left, a symbol in a business company, small omamori amulets on bags, and so forth. Therefore, with Utsumi often praying at her local Shinto shrine, the fusion of Buddhism and Shintoism is natural.

The art piece showing the Buddhist monk walking in terrible wintery conditions is equally baffling. For is the monk yearning for the Shinto shrine – merely going to pay respect by praying – or will he just continue on his path without even looking?

After all, the wind is obvious and maybe the monk needs to gradually swerve around to a path that isn’t visible because of the snow. Or, like life, it could signify that the Buddhist monk is merely passing through – just like we are all passing through this life.

Therefore, given the bleakness, strong wind, heavy snow, and the distant Shinto shrine, then what do you think?



http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.



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