Japan art and Hōitsu: A delightful triptych of nature by this Buddhist monk

Art of Japan and Hōitsu: A delightful triptych of nature by this Buddhist monk

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1829) lived a rich life devoted to high culture. In the last few decades of his life, he became a Buddhist monk. Therefore, the flow of art, Buddhism, literature, poetry, and other refined ways impacted on Hōitsu throughout his life.

In the delightful triptych titled Snow, the Moon, and Cherry Blossoms you can feel the passion – and intricate mind of Hōitsu. Thus, the decades he witnessed and the art he produced was still governed by creativity. Henceforth, in this triptych, you can feel the passion of art, Buddhism, ideas, and poetry within the mindset of Hōitsu.

On the MOA Museum of Art website, it says, “Hōitsu composed the triad as one whole unit, thinking of the overall composition when three paintings are juxtaposed. Therefore he placed the snow and pine trees on the top, the moon in the clouds in the middle, and the cherry blossoms at the bottom of each screen.”

The minimalism of this triptych and the gentle changing of the seasons all fuse together powerfully. Henceforth, between contemplating Buddhism and focusing on art, the upshot is this superb triptych that was composed during the late stages of his life.

Buddhism impacted greatly on Hōitsu in the last few decades of his life. Thus the clock of time slowed down for Hōitsu and his art felt the holy sctiptures he read. Therefore, with each new season being even more important in the later stages of this life, this triptych is like a mysterious poem through the prism of art.


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